Saturday, April 07, 2018

Real People are Dying in Gaza

I feel sick about what is happening in Gaza. I've read all the justifications for why Israeli forces have to use live fire, about how Hamas is using a civilian protest to try to get terrorists to the border to enter Israel and attack Israelis (which may be true, at least in part), about how all the Palestinians demonstrating at the border are terrorists. What do Palestinians themselves say? Do we automatically think that everything the IDF spokesperson's office says is true?

And, they aren't all terrorists. One non-terrorist was shot and injured today, and then died of his wounds - a Palestinian journalist, a photographer named Yasser Mourthaja. He was wearing a vest that had PRESS printed on it. (Source: Noga Tarnopolsky on Twitter).

Yasser Mourthaja
From Alex Kane, about Yasser Mourthaja:
Confirmed: Israeli army shot and killed Palestinian video journalist Yasir Murtaja. He was wearing a press jacket when he was sniped down. 
In a Facebook post written on March 24, two weeks before Israeli forces killed him, Yasser Murtaja writes of his wish to take photos from the air, not the ground, and says: "My name is Yasser Murtaja. I'm 30. I live in Gaza City and all my life I've never traveled."
Ali from Gaza wrote: "Journalist Yaser Murtaja. After hours of injury, he announced the news of his death. He was shot by Israeli snipers today. No right to the press about the Israeli occupation. Where are human rights?" (This is how Ali identifies himself: "The identity #Palestinian Social worker and psychiatrist #Photographer My life for the children of Gaza Travel to achieve my ambitions. instgram/ali from gaza").

From Elior Levy, about an hour ago. Levy is the Palestinian affairs correspondent and analyst for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot.

"During the night two Palestinians died from their injuries as a result of the confrontations on the Gaza border yesterday. One of them was a journalist - Yasser Mourthaja, documentary photographer. He was shot in the stomach in the southern (Gaza) strip when he was photographing demonstrators. He wore a vest on which was written PRESS. The number of Palestinians killed yesterday stands at 9."

Mourthaja was not the only Palestinian journalist who was injured by Israeli forces on Friday. The Palestinian journalists' union said that six others were injured. "The union said the six were shot despite wearing clothes clearly identifying themselves as journalists, adding it held Israel 'fully accountable for this crime.'”

According to Omar Ghraieb, posting on Twitter on Friday morning:
Another photojournalist, Ibrahim Al Za'noon, got injured by while covering today.

Some more tweets from Omar Ghraieb. Let's listen to what he and other Gazans say. They aren't all members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or the Salafist factions. Imagine what it must be like to live in Gaza, with the economy collapsing, the environment increasingly polluted, very little clean water - even the IDF admits this is happening.

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