Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Palestinians show solidarity for photographer shot by Israeli troops

Muath Amarneh lost sight in left eye after being hit by rubber bullet while covering protest

The international community rallied on Sunday to show support for a Palestinian press photographer who lost use of an eye to an Israeli rubber bullet.

Muath Amarneh, who works for a local news agency, was taken to a hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron after the rubber bullet fired by Israeli soldiers hit him in the left eye.

Amarneh was shot on Friday while covering a protest by Palestinians over Israeli confiscation of land in the village of Surif, north-west of Hebron.

Photos of people covering their left eye in solidarity went viral on social media, including one by posted on Twitter by Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

"We will continue to bear witness. In solidarity and affection," Ms Ashrawi wrote.

Mohammed Kareem, a spokesman for the organisers of weekly protests against Israel's blockade of Gaza, said Amarneh's case was part of Israel's "long chain of violations against Palestinian journalists".

"It's a deliberate policy that the occupation uses to prevent the Palestinians from delivering the truth to the world," Mr Kareem said on Twitter.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said it was preparing to take legal action against the Israeli army.

Israeli soldiers "deliberately targeted journalists in Palestine", the association said.

It said journalists covering the protests wore media vests and could be clearly identified.

The International Federation of Journalists , an advocacy group, called on the UN to adopt a convention that ensures the protection of all journalists.

“Once again, the IFJ deplores the attacks on Palestinian journalists by the Israeli military," said Anthony Bellanger, the head of the organisation.

"The IFJ recalls that international law applies everywhere and that no government is above it.

“It is now time for the UN General Assembly to adopt the Convention for the Protection and Safety of Journalists, so that the impunity enjoyed by predators of press freedom and democracy can end in Israel, as elsewhere."

Updated: November 18, 2019 04:28 AM

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