A second Palestinian journalist has died after being shot by Israeli forces while covering the Gaza protests. Ahmad abu Hussein, 24, succumbed yesterday in an Israeli hospital, 12 days after he was shot in the stomach while wearing a Press flak jacket on April 13. By one report, Abu Hussein was shot by an expanding bullet, from hundreds of meters away.
He was shot a week after journalist Yaser Murtaja was also shot in the torso by an Israeli sniper. Murtaja died early on the morning of April 7.
Asaf Ronel of Haaretz posted video of Ahmed abu Hussein’s shooting.
The killer of 17-year-old Nadim Nawara is punished (as ridiculous as the sentence is) only because his crime was caught on camera.
Ahmed Abu Hussein died for his camera. The moment an Israeli sniper shot him was also filmed. What will happen to his killer? pic.twitter.com/LX2IWhu8jk
— Asaf Ronel (@AsafRonel) April 25, 2018
Amjad Ayman reports at Middle East Eye that Hussein was killed by an expanding dum dum bullet, and that he needed special attention to save his life, but it took two days for Israeli authorities to allow his transfer:
A Palestinian journalist who died on Wednesday “needed a miracle to save his life” after being shot by Israeli forces and made to wait two days to be transferred out of the Gaza Strip, health officials said…
A 24-year-old freelance photographer and correspondent for Al-Shaab radio station, Abu Hussein was shot in the abdomen with an expanding “dum-dum” bullet on 13 April east of the town of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, while standing several hundred meters away from the fence separating Gaza from Israel, according to witnesses.
Abu Hussein was transferred to a hospital in Ramallah and then to Israel, six days after he was shot. He died in Israel.
Look at all the photographers documenting his passing, at his funeral, in a photograph posted in Ben White’s twitter feed. Many would appear to be journalists. Abu Hussein’s killing is exciting international condemnation.
Journalist Stefanie Dekker comments: “This video shows Ahmed abu Hussein standing in the middle of a crowd of people, away from the fence, in a vest and helmet marked press. The sniper searched him out specifcally. Why.”
Journalist Ben White also asks that question: “Was Abu Hussein specifically targeted – i.e. your snipers shoot journalists Did the sniper target him against orders – & are they suspended pending charges?”
American journalist/consultant David Rothkopf is incensed by the news.
“Israel is in the grip of a psychosis. It sees existential threats and lashes out at them when the real existential threat is its own government and its policies. It aims bullets at others and yet does grievous damage to itself with every one fired.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists also denounces the killing:
“Protective gear that clearly indicates individuals are members of the press should afford them extra protection–not make them targets,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “The death of Ahmed Abu Hussein underscores the need for Israeli authorities to urgently scrutinize its policies toward journalists covering protests and take immediate, effective action.”
Hagai El-Ad of B’Tselem has written to the UN Secretary General urging him to take action to protect Palestinian lives and to end Israel’s illegal rules of engagement, or the U.N. is hollowing out international human rights law. “The United Nations must do all in its power – and its responsibility – in order to protect Palestinian lives and uphold international norms.”
B’Tselem renews its call on Israeli soldiers not to fire on Palestinians, because it’s illegal.
El-Ad lists the name of 35 Palestinians killed (presumably because the other five killed were in some way armed). The last is abu Hussein. The fifth from last is a 14-year-old child. El-Ad honors the victims:
Many of them died immediately, or shortly after, they were hit. Others succumbed to their wounds days later. Like so many other Palestinians in Gaza, it is highly likely that they never had a chance to leave the small patch of land – roughly half the size of New York City – which is the Gaza Strip. They lived their lives without any political rights, devoid of any hope for a reasonable future, totally subject to the decisions and policies of the Israeli government.
These horrific casualty figures – the 35 Palestinians killed and 1,500 injured by live ammunition – are the predictable outcome of the manifestly illegal rules of engagement
implemented during the demonstrations, of ordering soldiers to use lethal gunfire against unarmed demonstrators who pose no mortal danger. These orders are unlawful under both
international law and Israeli law. Responsibility for these fatal outcomes rests with the policy makers and – above all – with Israel’s prime minister, defense minister and chief of
staff. Extensive past experience clearly demonstrates that the recently announced Israeli “investigation” of some of these fatalities is nothing more than a whitewash mechanism.
N.B. The Democratic Party’s Israel lobby, J Street, provided backup to that whitewash when it allowed Tzipi Livni to take its stage and declare that she knows American Jews are disturbed by the pictures out of Gaza, but rest assured, any soldier who did anything wrong will be prosecuted.)
N.B. Israelis have shot 1700 Palestinians with live fire during these demonstrations.
For sheer poetry eloquence dignity civilizational transcendence, there’s nothing to compare with this video by a Gazan man Khaled, appealing in Hebrew to Israelis to understand what they are doing to the people of Gaza, and why Gazans are protesting.
Destination: deaf ears.
More international pressure on Israel, from British lawmakers. Middle East Monitor:
Dozens of British parliamentarians have urged the UK government to apply “economic pressure” on Israel over the latter’s ongoing, illegal policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Early Day Motion, titled ‘Demolition Plans in Khan Al-Ahmar in the West Bank’, was tabled on 17 April and as of Wednesday, 25 April had attracted the support of 47 MPs from Labour, the Conservatives, the Scottish National Party, and Plaid Cymru.
An Israeli court today postponed a hearing on that demolition for another week.