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Israeli snipers shoot 6 Palestinian journalists, killing one–making international headlines

Israel/Palestine
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On the second Friday of the Gaza protests yesterday, Israeli snipers shot nearly 500 Palestinians at the Gaza border, killing nine (per AP), and bringing the death total in two Fridays to 31. The international headlines feature the shootings of six Palestinian journalists, including one who was killed, 30-year-old Yasser Murtaja, even though he wore a flak jacket clearly marked PRESS.

This is the only story today. For Reuters, for AFP, for the AP;  for the Washington Post too. (Journalists have self interest.) “Palestinian journalist in vest marked ‘PRESS’ shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza,” is the Post headline. Reporter Loveday Morris waits many paragraphs to provide the Israeli defense of its soldiers’ actions: blaming Hamas for turning the fence into a war zone.

One of the wounded journalists was Khalia Aazara, photo below posted by journalist Saad Abedine, who says that 780 in all were injured yesterday.The Palestinian health ministry said 491 Palestinians were shot.

Khalia abu Aazara, journalist shot by Israeli sniper, April 6, 2018. Photo posted by Saad Abedine on his twitter feed.

Ben White has posted the names and faces of all nine Palestinians killed protesting yesterday. The youngest are 16, 17, and 20.

Liam O’Hare, a well-known reporter, says of Murtaja: 

Yaser Murtaja was a filmmaker and the founder of Ain Media, a media and art agency which sought to tell the reality of life in Gaza. He was 30-years-old and was shot down by an Israeli sniper while attempting to do his job.

AFP reports the outrage of the Palestinian journalists union:

Six Palestinian journalists were shot and wounded by the Israeli army during clashes Friday between demonstrators and troops on the Gaza border, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate said.

The union said the six were shot despite wearing clothes clearly identifying themselves as journalists, adding it held Israel “fully accountable for this crime”.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem expresses condemnation of all the shootings:

Yesterday, yet again, the Israeli military used lethal force with no justification in Gaza. Shooting live ammunition at unarmed protesters who pose no threat is immoral, and a command ordering it is manifestly illegal. Israeli policy makers must change these orders immediately.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has released a strong statement to be read at a demonstration in London today against the murders.

The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage…

[Gazans] have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.

Firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated.

(Where are the American politicians?)

The AP on Murtaja’s killing:

Witnesses said Murtaja was over 100 meters (yards) from the border, wearing a flak jacket marked “press” and holding his camera when he was shot in an exposed area just below the armpit.

The Israeli military has said it fired only at “instigators” involved in attacks on soldiers and was investigating Murtaja’s death amid a very hectic environment.

Murtaja had never left Gaza. In March he posted a drone image he had made of the harbor with the statement, “I have never traveled,” and expressing the desire to leave Gaza.

Yaser Murtaja image of Gaza coast, posted March 24.

Loveday Morris of the Washington Post:

“My name is Yaser Murtaja. I’m 30-years-old. I live in Gaza City. I’ve never traveled!” He never did.

An Associated Press tweet from Murtaja’s funeral was oblique: “Hundreds attend funeral of a well-known Palestinian journalist in Gaza who died after covering the mass protests along the Israel border.” Yousef Munayyer slammed the language:

Really AP? A professional colleague was shot and killed doing his job and you can’t state that plainly in your tweet? He didn’t die from disease or a car accident, he was murdered.

David Rothkopf is one of many international voices condemning Israel:

No excuse for it. The Israeli government cannot argue as it often does that it is persecuted by the international community unfairly and then behave with the kind of wanton and unjustifiable brutality it has shown in the face of these Gaza protests (to choose one example.)

An Israeli journalist posted this photo of Israelis surveying the killing fields with the line, “Best show in town.”

“Best show in town.” Israeli residents of Nahal Oz “in the stands.” Photo posted by Niv Dvori, a reporter for Channel 2 News, on April 6, 2018.

Diana Buttu on twitter: “This is sick.”

More disturbing: An Israeli officer posted a threatening tweet of a rifle scope image of Palestinian protesters, including children, with what is said to be a warning in Arabic.

That photo, in case it is taken down.

Image of Palestinian children in rifle scope posted by an Israeli officer

Peter Feld responds: 

Snipers who murder protesters, journalists and children will face terminal Nuremberg justice, likewise those who command them. Social media officers like you who assist them will share in their fate. Everything that you Nazis post will be evidence.

Jason Greenblatt, mediator for the Trump administration, retweets Israeli propaganda about Hamas terrorists fostering the violence– so much for America’s reputation. This is brilliant from Buttu:

The (ever-expanding) list of words and phrases that I am tired of hearing: – “two-state solution” – “deeply concerned” – “both sides” – “excessive use of force” – “restraint” – “clashes” – “confrontations”

Many Jews are seeing this story for what it is, a liberation tale. Michael Davis on our site. Rothkopf on twitter:

The victims of Israeli brutality in this & the last Gaza conflict will ultimately have a power Israelis for all their firepower cannot muster–a moral power that will ultimately win the people of Gaza the rights they are being denied But I suspect they would rather be alive..

Jeffrey Goldberg is still avoiding Gaza. He retweets David Frum on British anti-Semitism. Jennifer Rubin, Israel’s vociferous defender ordinarily, is all about Trump. Bari Weiss is talking about anti-Semitism too. Nothing to say about Gaza. When is one of these hasbarists going to say, No mas?

Thanks to Adam Horowitz, Allison Deger, James North and Ofer Neiman.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


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23 Responses

  1. broadside
    April 7, 2018, 11:49 am

    “When is one of these hasbarists going to say, No mas?”

    When Israel says, ‘We hear you world’??

    Maybe when Phil Weiss says: ‘So I guess a rabbi mentioning the word ‘occupation’ in a synagogue in Westchester isn’t such a big deal after all’; maybe when Phil Weiss says: ‘Turns out that Ron Perleman piece in the NYT amounted to a big fat nothing’; maybe when Phil Weiss stops pretending that ‘and making international headlines’ means anything more than nothing.

    I.e.: never.

  2. ckg
    April 7, 2018, 12:54 pm

    It’s encouraging to see Shaun King tell his 1.7 million Facebook followers,

    I need you to understand what Israel is doing to Palestinians right now. Yesterday an Israeli sniper shot and killed a beloved photojournalist named Yasser Murtaja. That’s him moments after they shot him. I’ve seen the video. He died soon thereafter. It’s disgraceful.
    In fact Israeli snipers have now killed 30 Palestinian protestors. They aren’t even face to face. They are shooting them from across the border fence. In addition to the 30 people assassinated by Israel, nearly 500 more have been shot and thousands have been injured. These are war crimes. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. This violates international law.

    Shaun King is an enormously influential journalist.

  3. Kathleen
    April 7, 2018, 1:41 pm

    Clearly Israel does not give a rats ass about International opinion when they murder Palestinians in mass. Although they have to feel something is up about public opinion since they are trying to hard to shut down the debate. We really need to start targeting the massive U.S. foreign aid package

    • Kathleen
      April 7, 2018, 1:55 pm

      Maddow, Matthews, Joy Reid, O’Donnell, Ari Melber silent. Chris Hayes spoke up as we know on Wednesday but silent again on Friday.

      So many of the photo’s chilling especially the one with the child in it. Telling that Israel is killing journalist.

      The msm still focused on the Parkland shootings and the young activist taking action. However not on the massacre of Palestinians by Israeli terrorist. Let’s call Israeli snipers and soldiers what they are. Terrorist

      17 down in Parkland massacred by a terrorist covered endlessly by U.S. media. 30 Palestinians massacred by Israeli terrorist and hundreds injured. MSM coverage? little whispers.

      Israel threw the young and wondrous Ahed Tamimi in prison just in time to keep her from rallying more young activist.

      At this rate of Israeli terrorist hunting Palestinians in their scopes how many Palestinians will be dead by mid May. How many seriously injured. Next piece should be titled “Israeli snipers/terrorist hunting unarmed Palestinians”

  4. kev
    April 7, 2018, 2:09 pm

    One small correction and a request: the photo appears to be of a sighting through binoculars rather than a sniper’s rifle scope. That doesn’t mean that these children were not targeted, since the spotters that work with (and often direct) the snipers probably use binoculars. My request is, can someone translate what the officer posted in his tweet?

    • jackal
      April 8, 2018, 1:44 pm

      @ Kev
      A rough Google translation:
      Anyone who thinks he can hide behind the lenses of our troops is wrong, we see you clearly, and we will not allow anyone to just try to touch the security of Israel and its citizens. Adequate naiveté and self-endangerment.

      • Misterioso
        April 9, 2018, 3:23 pm

        @jackal

        For your much needed edification:

        http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-makdisi-media-palestinian-gaza-massacre-20180406-story.html

        “The bare facts about the Gaza demonstrators are correct, but the rest of the story is missing”

        By Saree Makdisi , The Los Angeles Times, Apr 06, 2018

        EXCERPT:
        “Media coverage of Israel’s massacre of Palestinian protesters during the first weekend of multi week demonstrations in Gaza offered textbook examples of how syntax and word choice shape, and even distort, representations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even if the facts are accurately stated, the ways in which sentences are constructed, and the extent to which details are contextualized, can subtly lead readers astray.

        “Consider for instance the enormous consequence of choosing passive rather than active language to convey what happened. ‘At least 15 Palestinians die as Israel responds to protest,’ wrote the Guardian in one early headline. ’15 dead in Gaza demonstrations’ read the front page of this newspaper, and the New York Times led with a similar formulation: ‘Confrontations at Gaza Fence Leave 15 Dead.’

        “Such phrasing separates facts from the agency that makes them intelligible. After all, those Palestinians (the actual number varies according to reports) did not simply drop dead: They were shot, deliberately. Simply splitting subject from verb, however, obscures who did what to whom and under what circumstances. ‘Israeli troops kill 15 Palestinians at Gaza protest,’ for example, would tell a different story — and would cue a different response from readers.

        “So too with the use of the words ‘clashes’ and ‘confrontations’ in describing what happened. The next-day story in the Los Angeles Times began this way: ‘A day of clashes between Israeli soldiers and protesters left 16 Palestinians dead.’ Again the passive voice obscured agency, and the word ‘clash’ suggested a rough parity between the action on both sides, an exchange of equal blows. Yet there is no parity between a milling, overwhelming nonviolent crowd of 30,000 demonstrators and heavily armed soldiers manning fortified positions, let alone army snipers picking off their targets from a comfortable distance. Moreover, an army of occupation and an occupied people do not ‘clash.’ One tries to crush; the other tries to resist, or at least to remain steadfast.”

        Jackal, beware. The ugly truth about Zionism and the entity known as “Israel” is rapidly gaining ground worldwide. It’s only a matter of time.

    • jackal
      April 8, 2018, 1:49 pm

      I have a DVD video that was made by some Israeli photographers that were caught inside Gaza during the war and couldn’t get out. It was pretty graphic. Perhaps you might try YouTube to see what is available.
      Sorry, I can’t help you at the moment with the title of that DVD, I have so many on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Perhaps later. :)

  5. john douglas
    April 7, 2018, 6:13 pm

    As a progressive site, MSNBC is a fraud. It’s belligerently pro-war, knee-jerk anti-Russian and silent, deadly silent, on Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

    If a news/opinion site or newspaper had been deliberately, calculatedly silent on South African apartheid, would anyone have called it progressive?

    Ditto for the mainstream Democratic Party.

    • Kathleen
      April 7, 2018, 10:48 pm

      Bingo.

      People may say why bother bringing attention to the outlets who are almost completely silent having to do with this critical issue So important to recognize where the facts are purposely backed up in the information pipeline. How and why the majority of the American public remain willfully ignorant and complicit with war crimes (our tax dollars)

      “The Occupation of the American Mind”
      http://therealnews.com/t2/story:21527:The-Occupation-of-the-American-Mind

    • Sibiriak
      April 8, 2018, 12:56 am

      john douglas: … MSNBC is a fraud. It’s belligerently pro-war, knee-jerk anti-Russian and silent, deadly silent, on Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
      —————————————-

      The anti-Russia and pro-Israel agendas go hand in hand.

      Now–as predicted– we have another false flag chemical weapons attack in Syria.

      At least 70 reported dead in suspected gas attack
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43686157

      The US state department said it is monitoring the “very disturbing” reports, and that Russia – which is fighting alongside the Syrian government – should be held responsible if deadly chemicals had been used.

      Dark forces are pushing for war (the fizzling Salisbury incident having served its purpose.) Soon events in Gaza will be overshadowed by vastly greater calamities.

      • broadside
        April 8, 2018, 11:28 am

        ‘Dark forces are pushing for war….’

        Absolutely right. As it stands, I would put the likelihood of nuclear bombs dropping within a month at 50-50. If these assholes in Washington think for a second Putin’s gonna back down from their bullshit they got another think coming — their last.

        Several years ago, famous incident: a Russian military official ignored a computer warning that icbms were heading his way. There were two, as I recall, according to the computer, and this man thought it made no sense for the US to attack using only two missiles. No doubt in my mind: Putin has given the word: your computer tells you icbms are heading this way you are to respond by firing everything. If you don’t you will be spending the rest of your life in a gulag, if you’re lucky.

        If Trump is really so stupid as to attack Syria over yet another oh-so-convenient, NYT-Bill Kristol-promoted chemical attack, and Russian soldiers are killed….

        In fact — Russia may not wait.

        https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/03/14/will-russia-wake/

      • Sibiriak
        April 9, 2018, 5:54 am

        Israeli officials: U.S. must strike in Syria

        The US must attack the Assad regime in Syria in response to the alleged chemical-weapons attack in Douma, which killed dozens of people, Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Sunday.

        Erdan, who is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s No. 2 in Likud, said he hoped US military action against the regime would be taken as it was when the Syrian Army used chemical weapons against its people in the past.

        The shocking attack shows the incredible hypocrisy of the international community focusing on Israel confronting the terrorist organization Hamas that is sending civilians to our fence, when dozens are being killed in Syria every day,” Erdan told Army Radio.

        “It shows the need for strengthening the presence of Americans and other international forces, because without them the genocide we are seeing will only intensify.”

        * * *

        Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay said he was shocked and pained by the pictures from Douma. He said it was a reminder that Israel must rely on itself if Syrian President Bashar Assad, who he noted heads the small Alawite minority in Syria, can attack his people with the support of Russia and silence from the US.

        http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Israeli-officals-US-must-strike-in-Syria-549144

    • Marnie
      April 8, 2018, 2:12 am

      MSNBC is a so-called left, liberal, etc. It has never been more disappointing than in its coverage of Palestine and the zionist forces occupation.

      The democratic party is a zombie.

    • echinococcus
      April 8, 2018, 4:43 am

      John Douglas,

      Ditto for the mainstream Democratic Party

      Ditto for the Democratic Party period.
      There’s only one. The only stream is the stream that determine its actions because each action cannot be itself and its opposite at the same time, a basic fact of logic.

      Meaning that what the peons participating, paying dues, helping, sympathizing, trying to change, etc. are totally insignificant because when it comes to the organization’s actions, they are all determined by its being the main official organization of its owners, the US monopoly capital dominated the Zionists of all so-called hues. Like its twin.
      And, as the late George Carlin used to say, you ain’t it.
      Even if one is young and still starry-eyed, there is no excuse for not having learned this lesson from the stark facts. Even in only during these last few years.

      The irrational belief that there is anything outside the “mainstream” in the Democrat Party, by the way, is the central problem with organizing the solidarity with Palestinian resistance in the US (and dominions.) If the millions of magical thinkers who sympathize with the resistance to Zionist invaders shoved it into their heads that there can only be one Democratorepublican Party we’d have no problem acting effectively and stopping US participation in the Zionist invasion.

      And the old mountebank Sanders is one of the most despicable persons around, being that he is the latest avatar of the successful propaganda agents periodically trotted out to spread the belief that there can be a “progressive” or “amenable to change” Democrat Party.

    • CigarGod
      April 8, 2018, 11:59 am

      Exactly.
      The Democrat brain is as dead as any other.
      Where is the party speaking out and fighting for unions?
      They are standing right next to those who support austerity.

  6. DaBakr
    April 8, 2018, 12:47 am

    Translation:

    Phil Weiss and Abumina PRAYING the international press makes as big a deal of it all as they are working 24/7 to accomplish. This is, no question, an all out fully funded palestinian propaganda operation that were the Hamas an open government and not a tyrannical murderous regime, the money trail could be easily exposed. But the wankers her are totally fine that nobody can prove anything concrete about outfits like Hamas, the Assad gang, the mullahs.

    But Israel? Now there’s a really closed society. Spoiled rotten, protected anti-israeli journalists swarming like rats. And the experts here probably think it’s all coming from mossad central. Wink. Wink.

  7. Ossinev
    April 8, 2018, 7:21 am

    “British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has released a strong statement to be read at a demonstration in London today against the murders.

    The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage…

    [Gazans] have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.

    Firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated”
    See also:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-israel-killings-palestine-gaza-border-violence-a8293881.html
    As per the Independent`s report not a dicky bird from Theresa May on the killings but one of her minions Alastair Burt at the FO came out with the archetypical Ziohasbaratic bollocks:
    “There is an urgent need to establish the facts, including why such a volume of live fire was used and what role Hamas played in the violence.”
    NB “what role Hamas played in the violence” !!. It`s almost as if he had phoned up Regurgitev and asked him “what should I say”.

    Will the Zionist hyena attacks on Jeremy Corbyn ease up as a result of this? We shall see but my feeling is that it is likely that Jonathan Arkush and all the other Israel Firsters here in the Uk will be keeping stumm for a while.

    Hey but watch out for a new dose of “whataboutery ” from them as a deflection from Zioland`s current live shooting gallery circus now that reports of alleged chemical attacks on civilians by Assad`s forces are coming in.

    Ref the photo see more at:
    https://www.dailysabah.com/mideast/2018/04/07/israelis-gather-by-gaza-border-to-watch-and-cheer-as-military-uses-live-fire-against-palestinians

    Such a lovely “nation”!

  8. Kay24
    April 8, 2018, 7:28 am

    Israel has become an evil entity. It is out of control, and kills with impunity.

    The results of the US, UK, and the EU pandering to it, sending billions of dollars in aid, and the deadliest of weapons, that enable it to keep killing unarmed civilians. Despite this massacre, the wicked witch of the US, Nikki Hayley, will protect it’s protege, once again, at the UN. The rest of the world will be silenced.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    April 8, 2018, 10:16 am

    RE: “Palestinian journalist in vest marked ‘PRESS’ shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza,” is the Post headline.

    BIBI SEZ: “Everyone knows” that the Hamas-Iran “Terror Octopus often dresses their operatives in journalist garb!

    HAARETZ, 4/04/2018:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Wednesday to remarks made a day earlier by Iranian President Hassan Rohani attacking the United States and Israel for their roles in Syria.

    “There’s no end to the absurdity,” said the prime minister. “The Iranian terror octopus is accusing Israel of terrorism.” . . .

    SOURCE – https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/netanyahu-fires-back-at-rohani-over-supporting-terrorists-accusation-1.5976693

    ■ IMAGE

  10. jackal
    April 8, 2018, 2:04 pm

    After about 15 Gazans had been killed and very little mentioned of it in the local (British Columbia, Canada) papers, I wrote a letter to the editors within my region with an explanation of the situation. When I asked why it wasn’t printed (and I don’t normally have a problem with that), I was told that the topic was too “sensitive.” These papers are not owned by the big three or four (Blackstone Press, etc.), so that wasn’t the reason. So, I sent the same letter to a paper in the center of evangelical supporters for Zionism in the province of Alberta (which is a real centre for evangelicals) and it was printed there without question.
    We are as unfortunate as are the Americans who have a president that is an Israeli supporter, as our present Prime Minister also kow-tows to Yahoo as if he is some sort of demi-god.

  11. Sibiriak
    April 13, 2018, 11:03 pm

    Peter Feld: Snipers who murder protesters, journalists and children will face terminal Nuremberg justice , likewise those who command them. Social media officers like you who assist them will share in their fate.
    ———————————

    These vile murders serve no national security purpose. They are a global propaganda disaster. They endanger crucial support among U.S. Jews. Nevertheless, they do serve one very important long term aim: they make the idea of an eventual peaceful reconciliation between Israeli Jews and Palestinians Arabs increasingly unthinkable. They make the idea of a future harmonious Jewish/Arab democratic state even more utopian.

    The same tactic—brutal, seemingly sadistic violence against innocent civilians—was used during the breakup of Yugoslavia for the same purpose.

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