“Ahmed had always expected this could happen to him. The situation in Gaza is difficult. There is no work. But Ahmed always had ambition and he wanted to progress. His friends offered him this job, and he would write and photograph for the agency and send materials for publication.”
— Abu Hussein’s mother
Ahmed Abu Hussein, a Palestinian journalist based in Gaza who was shot by Israeli soldiers two weeks ago, died of his wounds on Wednesday at Tel Hashomer Hospital in central Israel. Abu Hussein is the second Gazan journalist to be killed by IDF snipers over the past month, and one of 40 Palestinians killed during the Great Return March protests.
On Friday April 13, Abu Hussein, a 24-year-old from Jabaliya refugee camp, went to take photographs of the protest next to the Gaza-Israel border fence. His mother told +972 that he had been working with a small photo agency named Bisan, and according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Abu Hussein had worked for a radio station linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (it is yet unclear whether he worked for both places at the same or separately).
Abu Hussein was wearing a PRESS jacket — and was standing with a group of photographers near a press tent at the Great Return March encampment — when an Israeli sniper’s bullet pierced his abdomen, disrupting the blood flow to his brain . . . . His mother says he was struck by a hollow-point bullet, which expands as it hits its target in order to cause maximum damage. This is the same kind of bullet that has been used against dozens of those who have been killed and maimed during demonstrations in Gaza over the past month.
“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.
The Palestinian health ministry reported that on Friday 491 people were injured by live ammunition after Israeli forces fired on protesters who had gathered near the Israeli border in the besieged Gaza Strip.
A Palestinian journalist shot by Israeli forces during a mass demonstration along the Gaza border has died of his wounds.
Yaser Murtaja, a photographer with the Gaza-based Ain Media agency, was shot in the stomach in Khuza’a in the south of the Gaza Strip on Friday, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Murtaja, 30, was hit despite wearing a blue flak jacket marked with the word “press,” indicating he was a journalist.