Since the beginning of the Great Return March on March 30th, one journalist was deliberately assassinated and more than 12 others were seriously wounded by Israeli sniper fire. One journalist is now in critical condition.
The Israeli Forces targeted press vehicles yesterday, who were covering the demonstration. They also fired tear gas directly on our press tent, while we were far away from the border fence, a 700 meter distance.
The head of the Information office, Salama Maarouf, expressed dismay at the alarming number of press-freedom violations against journalists covering the Zionist atrocities at the Great Return March.
“The aim of assassinating my colleague Yaser Muraja two weeks ago, while covering the demonstration, is to hide the truth by eliminating the witness”, said the photographer Rushdi Assaraj. “I was with Yaser when he got shot, the only thing he was holding was his Camera”, he added.
Murtaja, 30, was shot in the abdomen by Israeli occupation forces two weeks ago, while covering the rallies in the border area of the besieged Gaza strip. He succumbed to his injury the following day.
According to the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, Israel committed at least 740 violations against Palestinian journalists — in both the West Bank and Gaza — last year alone. Since 1992, 15 journalists have been executed by Israeli fire.
The 2014 Israeli aggression on Gaza was the bloodiest aggression against journalists we have ever seen. Eight local media outlets were leveled to the ground.
The Palestinian Great Return March is a popular and peaceful demonstration which all Palestinians take part in, to express our legal right to return to our ancestral home land in the Zionist occupied territories. In addition, we are demonstrating to shed light on our suffering under the 11-year-long Israeli siege on Gaza.
According to data from the Ministry of Health in Gaza, in the first two weeks of the protests (30 March – 14 April), 4,279 people were injured, and 36% of these (1,539) received gunshot wounds from Israeli snipers. 37 unarmed demonstrators have been killed.