Slain photojournalist’s last video captures brutal crackdown on protests

Palestinian photographer Yasser Murtaja’s final images eerily prescient as he documented the rising violence in Gaza before he was shot dead.

By Peter Beaumont | The Guardian | Apr 9, 2018


“Yasser Murtaja was a civilian and a journalist who was wearing clear press identification while he was filming the demonstrations at the Gaza fence with Israel. He was there because he wanted to document civilians exercising their right to peacefully protest.”
— Jan Egeland, Norwegian Refugee Council secretary-general


The drone floats above the farmland at the east of Gaza’s narrow coastal strip where beyond the fence — the transition is almost invisible — Israel’s border communities begin.

The video is among the last footage filmed by Palestinian photographer Yasser Murtaja in Gaza before he was shot dead by Israeli troops last Friday — and it eerily foreshadows his own fate.

Palestinian demonstrators walk through the flat fields, hold signs or sit in the shade of tents in the five border protest camps that dot the landscape from east of Jabaliya in the north to Khuza’a, a short drive from the southern city of Khan Yunis.

Murtaja died on the second of a series of mass Friday protests called the “Great March of Return,” which will culminate on “Nakba” Day (catastrophe in Arabic) on 15 May, which will commemorate the events of 1948 when, following the creation of the state of Israel, more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes.

Despite wearing body armour clearly marked with a press sign, Murtaja was shot in the stomach while covering the protests and died later of his wounds. He was one of nine Palestinian men killed in a space of a few hours.

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Video emerges of Israeli soldiers cheering as sniper shoots Palestinian

Israel’s military says incident in Gaza Strip will be “thoroughly investigated.”

By Oliver Holmes | The Guardian | Apr 10, 2018


“Do you have a bullet in the barrel?” asks a voice off-camera in Hebrew. A crack is heard and the man falls suddenly. “Wow, what a video. Yes! Son of a whore!” another person says as people are seen running towards the victim to help. “Wow. They hit someone in the head,” says an off-camera voice.


Footage has emerged of an Israeli sniper shooting a seemingly unarmed and motionless Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip, followed by exuberant whooping from an onlooker.

Israel’s military said an initial inquiry found the shooting had taken place on 22 December, when one of its soldiers injured the man in his leg during what it called violent riots.

The grainy video comes after almost two weeks of daily protests by Palestinians on the Israel-Gaza border in which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have fatally shot more than two dozen people and wounded hundreds more, according to Gazan health officials. . . .

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Take a side — the side of justice

Listen to Anne Baltzer’s inspiring TEDx on having the courage to take a side and take a stand.

By Anne Baltzer | TEDxOcala | Dec 8, 2017


“Equality is about treating everyone the same. Equity is about leveling the playing field.”


“I found a system of segregated roads, with nice roads for Jewish Israeli settlers and separate roads for Palestinians. And all around me I saw inspiring Palestinian popular resistance and its violent suppression by Israel, a military superpower armed by my own country, the United States.

“And I knew that Israel would pay me to move on to that Palestinian land, simply because I’m Jewish. I did not know at the time that Israel’s Jewish majority could only exist through the removal of Palestinians. . . .

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“It’s What We Do: A Play About the Occupation”

The play, adapted from the testimony of Israeli soldiers, was recently produced in Washington, DC.

By Pam Bailey | Mondoweiss | Feb 6, 2018


This oppression is destructive for everyone: Palestinian civilians obviously suffer daily, and the Israeli soldiers — who are told “your mission is to disrupt lives” — are forced to stop thinking and do what they are ordered to do, even when the must carry out actions that are inhumane. This is called “mind occupation,” and I’m glad that some soldiers have managed to free their minds and break the silence.


This video is a production called “It’s What We Do: A Play About the Occupation,” produced and directed by Pam Nice, a member of the Washington, DC, chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Although it is a drama, the dialogue of the soldiers is adapted from the actual testimonies of Israeli soldiers from Breaking the Silence, whose vivid memories continue to haunt them. The target audience is Jewish viewers. But several We Are Not Numbers writers, who have been “targets” of Israeli soldiers, watched the video, curious to see how far the the soldiers were willing to go in their confessions. It was difficult for many of them to watch, and their reactions varied. But they all agreed the video should be required viewing for people everywhere.

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