Why Israeli Soldiers Feel Comfortable Shooting Journalists Reporting on the Gaza Protests

For the past 11 years, Israeli journalists have been forbidden from entering Gaza. This has affected not only their reporting, but also the way fellow Israelis understand what is happening there.

She is a veteran journalist, who has covered a number of bloody conflict zones. She’s clearly upset. “Yesterday was madness,” she says. “At a certain point I stopped counting the number of people wounded who were evacuated from the area.” She describes one scene at the main protest in Jabaliya, across from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

“The people who stood next to me, hundreds of meters from the fence, who did nothing, were shot by snipers. Someone who stood near me was shot between his eyes,” she says. In another case, she said she saw the driver of a few foreign journalists shot while he was standing alongside them.” https://972mag.com/how-do-israeli-jou…

IDF has shot over 500 Palestinians in the head during protests.

Journalists — of any nation — are present in areas of confrontation to report on events. The army of a democratic country should not harm reporters who are doing their jobs. For this reason we view the fact that reporters were hurt gravely.”

The media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders accused the IDF of the “deliberate shooting” of journalists.

The Israeli military has reacted with deadly and purposeful force, killing and wounding at seemingly random. And still people have come from all over Gaza to demonstrate and protest their right of return to the lands from where they, their parents and grandparents, were once evicted.

With them we came, the journalists, watching and filming, bearing witness to the events as they transpired and talking to people to hear their stories and motivations.

Israeli occupation forces are likely targeting Palestinian journalists in an attempt to prevent them from covering Israeli violations against Palestinian people.

On Sunday overnight, a group of around 200 Israeli settlers broken into the houses of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron while IDF forces prevented journalists from getting close to the targeted area, Safa news agency reported.

And from that relatively mundane example to the deadly, journalists have been very much in the line of fire.

So far, there have been two fatalities among those covering the protests. There have been a high number of injuries to journalists – as many as 66 over the four demonstrations held so far, according to Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesperson for Gaza’s ministry of health – prompting calls for the protection of journalists and investigations into the violence. Human right organizations and international watchdogs like the Committee to Protect Journalists have been at the forefront of these calls.

These have had little effect on Israel’s behavior.

MK proposes 10 years prison sentence for anyone filming Israeli soldiers

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Journalists were targeted at the right of return march.

The proposed bill mentions NGOs such as B’Tselem, Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence, calling them “anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian… and BDS organizations.”

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – In a step aimed at covering up Israeli crimes, MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) has called for introducing a new bill punishing anyone who photographs or video-records soldiers while performing their duties in order to undermine their morale.

He made his proposal after a video went viral on the internet showing an Israeli soldier shooting at a Palestinian on Gaza border as other follow soldiers were verbally attacking other protesters.

According to the Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom, the proposed bill calls for imposing a five-year prison punishment on anyone exposing on-duty soldiers’ behavior.

It also calls for jailing for 10 years anyone who does so with the intention of harming Israel’s national security.

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The proposed bill mentions NGOs such as B’Tselem, Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence, calling them “anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian… and BDS organizations.”

It claims that “for many years, there has been a disturbing phenomenon in Israel of documenting soldiers through videos, stills and voice recordings,” and that some NGOs have people follow soldiers all day long to try to “document them in a biased and slanted way… while sometimes accusing and insulting them.”

Ilatov said the time came to put an end to what he called “anarchy.” “It cannot be that any left-wing activist or organization, supported by foreign entities, can get free access and document, undisturbed, soldiers on duty.”

“We have the responsibility to give soldiers the optimal conditions to do their jobs, without them having to be worried about a left-wing activist or organization sending out their photo and trying to shame them.”

 

 

Amnesty: Israel carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured children

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Director of the human rights organization al-Haq Shawan Jabarin argued that the killing exposed an Israeli policy of opening fire on Palestinians who do not pose a lethal threat, which is routinely followed by a fabricated statement from Israeli authorities claiming the victim had intended to carry out an attack.

Eyewitnesses have also said in a number of cases that Israeli security forces planted knives on slain Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during an alleged stabbing attack

Israeli authorities and armed forces carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured Palestinian prisoners and targeted human rights defenders, Amnesty International’s new annual report says.

2018 marks the 71th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of  Palestine

“Israeli authorities intensified the expansion of settlements and related infrastructure across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and carried out a large number of demolitions of Palestinian property, forcibly evicting more than 660 people,” the report states.

“Many of these demolitions were in Bedouin and herding communities that the Israeli authorities planned to forcibly transfer.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty also slammed “Israel’s air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip”, which it says is “collectively punishing Gaza’s entire population of approximately 2 million inhabitants”.

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Palestinian teenage girl shot dead after alleged knife attack

Addressing the use of lethal violence, Amnesty International noted that Israeli forces killed 76 Palestinians and one foreign national in 2017, adding that “many, including children, were shot and unlawfully killed while posing no immediate threat to life”.

Some killings, Amnesty continued, “appeared to have been extrajudicial executions”.

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Israeli forces shot two Palestinian teenage girls, killing one and wounding the other, after they were allegedly involved in a stabbing attack

 

Across the occupied territories, “Israeli forces, including undercover units, used excessive and sometimes lethal force when they used rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition against Palestinian protesters”, killing “at least 20, and injuring thousands”.

Amnesty’s annual report notes the killing in December of “wheelchair user Ibrahim Abu Thurayya”, who “was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier as he was sitting with a group of protesters near the fence separating Gaza from Israel”.

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Israeli police shoot 16 yr old girl after alleged knife attack in Jerusalem

The new report also commented on Israel’s use of mass incarceration as a tool of political repression, documenting how “Israel detained or continued to imprison thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, mostly in prisons in Israel, in violation of international law”.

Israeli authorities also “continued to substitute administrative detention for criminal prosecution”, says Amnesty, “holding hundreds of Palestinians, including children, civil society leaders and NGO workers, without charge or trial under renewable orders, based on information withheld from detainees and their lawyers.”

Furthermore, “Israeli soldiers and police and Israel Security Agency [Shin Bet] officers subjected Palestinian detainees, including children, to torture and other ill-treatment with impunity, particularly during arrest and interrogation.”

Amnesty International also accused Israeli authorities of using “a range of measures, both in Israel and the OPT, to target human rights defenders who criticized Israel’s continuing occupation.”

Other topics covered by the report, in relation to Israel’s ongoing rights violations, included the lack of accountability, “more than three years” later, for “evidently unlawful attacks including war crimes” committed by the Israeli military in its 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip.

Source: Amnesty International