Reporters Without Borders: Israel shot journalists intentionally

22 May

VIDEO REPORT: Yasser Murtaja was one of the journalists shot dead by Israeli forces while covering the Great March of Return last year. A photographer with the Gaza-based Ain Media agency, Murtaja was shot in the stomach in Khuza’a in the south of the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Murtaja, 30, was hit despite wearing a blue flak jacket marked with the word “press”, indicating he was a journalist. [Al Jazeera, 7 April 2018]

Palestine Chronicle, 22 May, 2019

The director-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said yesterday that the Israeli army had deliberately targeted journalists in the occupied Gaza Strip.

Christophe Deloire was speaking to the Jerusalem Post, having received the Dan David Prize in Tel Aviv on behalf of the international press freedoms watchdog.

Deloire told the paper: “It is a war crime to target journalists because they are journalists. When Israel shot those journalists [during the Great Return March protests], it was intentional.”

He added: “The journalists could be clearly identified as journalists, with cameras and jackets and it could not be just by chance.”

Referring to the United Nations’ Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza protests, Deloire pointed out that the report “confirmed what we already considered a fact”.

According to the Jerusalem Post, last week RSF formally asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate suspected war crimes by the Israeli military against Palestinian journalists covering protests in Gaza since March 30, 2018.

The RSF chief also had a warning for Israelis about deteriorating press freedoms at home.

Deloire told the paper, a reference to Likud election posters: “I am sure it does not happen in many countries that you have billboards with faces of journalists mentioning that they will not decide.”

Deloire also criticized the prohibition on Israeli journalists entering the Gaza Strip.

(Sources: Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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