The killing of 30-year-old news photographer Yasser Mortaja last Friday, April 6, who was wearing a protective vest marked “PRESS” when he was shot dead by an army sniper has become emblematic of Israel’s brutality in general, and specifically that which it is wielding in its confrontation with demonstrations by Palestinians along the Gaza border since March 30.
B’Tselem – The Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, has said that Israel’s use of lethal force on the last two Fridays during which 29 Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded was both unjustified and illegal.
Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Jount List) called Sunday for the Israeli soldier who fatally shot the Gazan photographer to be placed on trial. “It is the right and duty of journalists and media personnel to cover protest events; if injury is caused them, it is an intolerable crime. It is a deed that must not be done, and an exacting investigation is demanded into how a soldier can shoot a journalist,” she said. “I support these nonviolent and legitimate protests against the siege of the Gaza Strip and the occupation of the Palestinian territories,” she said. “It is necessary that these demonstrations continue, and I also support such demonstrations in the occupied West Bank.”
During a solidarity rally with Palestinians in Gaza held in Sakhnin on Saturday, Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) told the crowd: “Popular struggle is the means for liberating the Palestinian people from occupation. History proves that this means has triumphed in many places such as in India under the leadership of Mahatma Ghandi, and it will also succeed against the Israeli occupation.” “The Netanyahu government that deepens Israel’s war crimes and fatally shoots demonstrators bears full responsibility for every drop of blood shed in Gaza and for the continuation of the bloodshed,” said Jabareen.