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In The Course Of Duty Palestinian Journalist Shot Dead By Israeli Sniper While Wearing Press Vest

In The Course Of Duty Palestinian Journalist Shot Dead By Israeli Sniper While Wearing Press Vest

A Palestinian journalist, Yaser Murtaja, 30, was shot dead by Israeli forces while wearing a clearly visible press vest.

It has been reported to be the 29th Palestinian killed in the week-long protests in Gaza.

Photos showed Murtaja lying wounded on a stretcher wearing a protective vest marked ‘PRESS’ in large black capital letters.

In The Course Of Duty Palestinian Journalist Shot Dead By Israeli Sniper While Wearing Press Vest

He was shot in the side of his abdomen and later died from his wound in the hospital.

At least nine Palestinians were killed and 491 others injured in the second mass border protest in eight days.

The Israeli military said it has launched an investigation as it faces widespread questions over the shooting.

A statement from the Israeli military said: ‘The Israel Defence Forces do not intentionally target journalists. The circumstances in which journalists were allegedly hit by IDF fire are not familiar to the IDF and are being looked into.’

Israel has stationed sharpshooters to stop attempts by Palestinians to breach the border as part of daily protests dubbed ‘The Great March of Return’.

In The Course Of Duty Palestinian Journalist Shot Dead By Israeli Sniper While Wearing Press Vest

Freelance photographer Ashraf Abu Amra said he was next to Murtaja when he was shot.

‘We were filming as youths torched tyres,’ he said. ‘We were about 250 metres from the fence.

‘Israeli forces opened fire and injuries began. Yaser and I ran to film when suddenly Yaser fell to the ground.

In The Course Of Duty Palestinian Journalist Shot Dead By Israeli Sniper While Wearing Press Vest

screamed at 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.’

Murtaja was married with a two-year-old son. Hundreds of mourners, many of them journalists, attended his funeral on Saturday.

In The Course Of Duty Palestinian Journalist Shot Dead By Israeli Sniper While Wearing Press Vest

His body was covered with a Palestinian flag and his press jacket laid beside him on the stretcher as it was carried through the streets of Gaza to his home for the last farewell.

‘I made him breakfast, he ate quickly, he was in a hurry to go to work,’ said Murtaja’s mother, Yusra.

‘I thought he would recover from his injury, I didn’t expect his death, but God has chosen him as a martyr, thank God.’

At least three other journalists were wounded on Friday in other locations, Gaza officials said. There have been no Israeli casualties in the protests.

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Omotunde Alata

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