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Killing of second Palestinian journalist covering Gaza protests draws international condemnation

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Ahmad Abu Hussein, second Palestinian journalist to be killed by Israel while covering Gaza protests. He died April 25, 2018.

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.

Ahmad abu Hussein, 24, journalist killed by Israel, April 25, 2018.

Asaf Ronel of Haaretz posted video of Ahmed abu Hussein’s shooting.

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.

Ahmad abu Hussein’s funeral, photo posted in Ben White’s twitter feed.

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?”

The funeral procession of 25 year old journalist, Ahmed Abu Hussein in Jabalya refugee camp. From Stefanie Dekker’s twitter feed, April 26, 2018.

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.



Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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10 Responses

  1. Kay24 on April 26, 2018, 1:26 pm

    What can you say? Brutal, inhumane savages, that wear the uniform of their nation, and act like butchers. World condemnation will not fix it, nor change it. The nations like the US, UK, and the EU, keep enabling them, by sending them billions in dollars, and weapons, that they use on unarmed civilians, journalists, and children. Until they make a genuine effort to stop the massacre, it will never change. They have the power to make a difference, but because of their own agendas, they never have, and never will.

    • Misterioso on April 27, 2018, 10:56 am

      The Gaza Strip, as of April 27:

      Al Jazeera, April 27/18

      “Gaza protests: All the latest updates”

      “Palestinians set to protest for the fifth Friday in a row as UN rights chief condemns Israel’s use of ‘excessive force’.”

      “Palestinians in Gaza Strip have protested for the fifth Friday in a row, as part of the Great March of Return movement.

      “Since the protests began on March 30, 42 Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been killed by Israeli forces, with more than 5,500 injured.

      “Here are all the latest updates as of Friday, April 27

      “Since the protests began on March 30, 42 Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been killed by Israeli forces, with more than 5,500 injured.

      “Dozens hurt in latest Gaza protest
      At least 25 Palestinian protesters have reportedly been injured by live Israeli gunfire or have suffocated from teargas inhalation, as demonstrations erupted for the fifth Friday in a row in Gaza, according to reports.

      “The Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that at least six Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces fired live ammunition at protesters, while the rest were hurt because of teargas inhalation.

      “Hundreds of protesters have been gathering at the eastern and northern border of the Gaza Strip on what they called the ‘Friday of Rebellious Youth’.

      “UN rights chief decries Israel’s excessive use of force in Gaza:

      “UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has condemned Israel’s use of ‘excessive force’ against Palestinian protesters, saying its security forces must be held to account for the many deaths and injuries sustained by Palestinians in the past month.

      “‘The loss of life is deplorable, and the staggering number of injuries caused by live ammunition only confirms the sense that excessive force has been used against demonstrators – not once, not twice, but repeatedly,’ Zeid said.

      “In the past four weeks, 42 Palestinians had been killed and over 5,500 injured along the fence in Gaza, with no reports of Israeli casualties.”

  2. Citizen on April 26, 2018, 1:51 pm

    U can be sure there will be no reporters there from the US main media.

    The latest review of each country’s main media for character of its journalism shows Norway at #1, followed by other Scandavian countries. USA, once the main model for free speech, is #45. Israel is

  3. Elizabeth Block on April 27, 2018, 8:25 am

    Weren’t dum-dum bullets outlawed in the nineteenth century? The British used them against “savages.”

    • John O on April 27, 2018, 9:48 am

      Yes. I’m not an expert, but I believe the small-calibre bullets of modern assault rifles act in a similar way, since they tend to tumble and fragment after entering the body, hence the small entry wound and massive internal damage and exit wounds. I don’t know what the snipers were using – perhaps heavier-calibre rifles with longer ranges and greater accuracy. This could account for wounds with which Gazan medics were unfamiliar. Hollow-point bullets, with similar characteristics, are issued to police forces, as they are designed to avoid ricochets in crowded spaces, as in the notorious shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes on a crowded train by British police in 2005.

  4. on April 27, 2018, 9:23 am

    Why do you continue to print crap from David Rothkopf, how “incensed” he is? He’s one of the good ones? Spare us all.

    “It aims bullets at others and yet does grievous damage to itself with every one fired.”

    Worse damage, I’ll bet — more painful too!

  5. shaun patrick on April 27, 2018, 9:33 am

    In a bizarre twist of historical fate Israel treats Palestinians the way Nazis treated Jews which is to view them as subhuman. This enables Israel to kill and shoot Palestinians as if they were animals and as video evidence shows they insult and jeer at their victims when doing this. Israel has lost its conscience and is unable to tell right from wrong. Just like Trump it is unable to accept responsibility for its actions and behaviour instead blaming everyone else. It’s small wonder Netanyahu and Trump get along so well.

    • Misterioso on April 27, 2018, 10:16 am

      @shaun patrick

      As its history clearly attests, Israel has never had a “conscience.”

  6. Misterioso on April 27, 2018, 10:35 am

    “A video dedicated to the people of Gaza as they struggle to break out of Israel’s infernal prison.”

    • okeefecybermesa on April 27, 2018, 2:35 pm

      This video was banned from YouTube for being “inciting” and showing violence. Thank gawd the posters put it on Vimeo.

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