By Middle East Affairs
A Palestinian journalist died Saturday after succumbing to gunshot wounds by Israeli fire Friday while covering the protests on the Israel-Gaza border, Reuters reports, and three other journalists also sustained injuries.
Since the six-week “Great March of Return” began March 30, Israeli troops have prioritized keeping Palestinians from crossing the Israeli border, leading to shots fired at unarmed protesters.
Yaser Murtaja, 30, became the 29th Palestinian killed during the protests. He was a cameraman for Palestinian Ain Media. Health officials said a live bullet hit him in the side of the abdomen and he later died in a hospital. He had been wearing a protective vest marked “PRESS” in large capital letters.
Reuters said the Israeli military is looking into the incident but could not comment further at the moment.
Freelance photographer Ashraf Abu Amra told Reuters he was next to Murtaja when it happened.
“We were filming as youths torched tyres. We were about 250 meters from the fence,” said Abu Amra. “Israeli forces opened fire and injuries began. Yaser and I ran to film when suddenly Yaser fell to the ground.
“I screamed to him ‘Yaser are you alright?.’ He didn’t respond and there was blood on the ground underneath him. I knew it was a bad injury and people carried him away,” he said.
Murtaja, according to Reuters, was married with a two-year-old son.