The International Federation of Journalists and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate have both condemned the shooting of Moath Amarneh, a photojournalist in the West Bank. Amarneh has been blinded in one eye during the attack.
Covering land confiscation and the resulting protests in the Surif region of the Hebron governorate, the photojournalist was shot by a rubber bullet in the eye despite being very visibly marked and identifiable as a member of the press.
After being rushed to a medical facility in Hebron it was discovered that Moath had sadly been blinded in his left eye.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate has stated that the attack was deliberate and yet another attack on journalists and members of the press by Israeli forces, saying that the shooting was “a deliberate targeting by the Israeli army of a colleague wearing a bullet-proof vest marked PRESS.”
Anthony Bellanger, the General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, also condemned the shooting, calling on the United Nations to take action.
“Once again, the IFJ deplores the attacks on Palestinian journalists by the Israeli military. The IFJ recalls that international law applies everywhere and that no government is above it. It is now time for the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Convention for the Protection and Safety of Journalists so that the impunity enjoyed by predators of press freedom and democracy can end in Israel as elsewhere.”– Anthony Bellanger, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists
The attack on Moath Amarneh is the latest in years of attacks upon members of the press by Israeli occupation forces, with the Journalist Support Committee documenting over 600 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists during the first three quarters of 2018 including the killings of Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein.
The subsequent U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Gaza protests concluded that Israel intentionally shot children and journalists in Gaza, Israel aiming direct fire at journalists who were clearly identified as press.
In July of this year, Israel wounded five Palestinian journalists while covering clashes in Gaza and the West Bank. Like the attack on Moath Amarneh, Al-Aqsa TV’s Sami Misran was blinded in the incident where he appeared to have been deliberately targeted.
Press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders condemned Israel after the attacks, stating that the occupation forces had shown “deliberate desire to target the press and obstruct their work”.
“Firing at journalists when they are clearly identifiable indicates a deliberate desire to target the press and obstruct their work. The Israeli military must stop targeting journalists, who are protected by international law when they are doing their job as reporters.”Reporters Without Borders statement, July