News24

Palestinian photographer targeted - group

2011-05-17 20:15

Jerusalem - A Palestinian photographer who was shot on Sunday while covering protests in the Gaza Strip may have been "deliberately targeted" by an Israeli soldier, a media rights group said on Tuesday.

"Reporters Without Borders was told that (Mohammed) Othman was clearly identifiable as a journalist at the time of the shooting and was deliberately targeted," Reporters Sans Frontieres said.

Othman was critically wounded as he covered demonstrations near the Erez crossing in northern Gaza.

The Israeli military told AFP it had received no official complaint about the incident.

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) categorically rejects the claim that any journalists were intentionally injured as without any basis in fact," said a statement to AFP.

"The IDF is in constant contact with the Foreign Press Association and no complaint was received regarding this incident through any of the established channels."

The statement said Israeli troops had fired on "rioters" as they attempted to "violently breach the border with Israel" on Sunday.

"IDF soldiers fired in a controlled manner so as to disperse the rioters and prevent them illegally entering Israeli territory," the statement said.

Catastrophe

The demonstration was one of several staged by Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza and on Israel's borders with Syria and Lebanon to mourn the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" of Israel's founding in 1948.

RSF said it urged the Israeli authorities "to investigate the circumstances in which he was shot and punish those responsible".

Medical sources and Othman's family told AFP on Tuesday that he was still in hospital in a "critical but stable" condition.

"He underwent an operation early this morning to remove a piece of shrapnel from his spine," said Adham Abu Selmiya, a spokesperson for the Hamas-run medical services in the Gaza Strip.

A doctor at Shifa hospital in Gaza City said Othman, 26, was shot in the arm and was hit in the chest by shrapnel, which entered his lungs and spine.

Othman was working for Demotix.com, a British photo news agency.

The agency's Facebook page carried a photograph showing Othman being carried away by demonstrators, covered in blood, after apparently being hit.

RSF said two other journalists were injured in the clashes that accompanied the Gaza demonstration on Sunday.

Comments
  • battle4truth - 2011-05-17 21:21

    media stunt? whatever, thumbsuck allegations. There are two side of the story, this is one coming from Hamas, a terrorist group that teaches their children to blow themselves up, to gain a heavenly reward...who would you believe?

      Ken - 2011-05-17 21:37

      he was possibly killed by the Pals as a "martyr"

      Adam - 2011-05-18 19:30

      yaseen. i think hamas is a terrorist organisation because the intentionally try to kill unarmed civilians and dont target israeli government or military institutions. i think ure right about god prevailing, thats why israel still stands afterbeing invaded countless times by egyptian, syrian, jordanian and lebanese armies... im not talking about the pathetic little border crossing the other day. o by the what all the time israel was invaded and went to war, america had not started supplying israel with any arms or money. so yeah id call that god willing. im confused as to why palestinian supporters(including the palestinians them selves) are more concerned with israel then them selves? why are they not campaigning for recognised status by egypt and jordan, the very people who put them where they are. u do know more palestinians die trying to cross over into egypt from gaza then those killed by the israeli defence force? yep thats right, cairo has shut those borders closed tight since 1967 when they demanded all muslims to leave israel and then closed the border after 6 days - refer to 6 day war. jordan did the exact same. ever wondered why west bank is on the jordanian border and gaza is on the egyptian border... well theres your answer. as long as palestinians are more concerned with killing israelis then trying to establish peace... there will never be peace

  • Yaseen - 2011-05-17 21:47

    Israel is brutil, they dont care about the lives of innocent n the young. In a warzone there will be injuries, but cmon why the children? Hamas is a terrorist group to who? Helen Zille n Nelson Mandela were labelled as terrorists too. apharyeid was bad, but did they kill children? God is Great n Truth will prevail over evil

  • Yaseen - 2011-05-17 21:48

    Israel is brutil, they dont care about the lives of innocent n the young. In a warzone there will be injuries, but cmon why the children? Hamas is a terrorist group to who? Helen Zille n Nelson Mandela were labelled as terrorists too. apharteid was bad, but did they kill children? God is Great n Truth will prevail over evil

  • Wayne - 2011-05-18 16:16

    What did he expect...he's Palestinian and standing around where there's live fire...guess he learnt a valuable lesson now. Duck...

  • Mundu - 2011-05-18 19:19

    I guess he won't do that again.

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