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.Abu Hussein was transferred to a hospital in Ramallah and then to Israel, six days after he was shot. He died in Israel.
Health officials said that 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.
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 has said that “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 has said that “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 has said that “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.”
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.