Palestinian Yasser Murtaja, who was wearing a ‘Press’ vest, was shot in the abdomen while covering the Gaza rallies
By Anadolu Agency
A Palestinian news reporter who was shot by Israeli forces while covering ongoing rallies in the Gaza Strip has succumbed to his wounds, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Friday.
According to witnesses, Yasser Murtaja, 30, was shot in the abdomen by the Israeli military on the Gaza border east of Khan Younis while wearing a clearly marked press jacket.
Since Friday morning, thousands of Palestinians have converged on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel to take part in ongoing anti-occupation demonstrations.
Murtaja, who works as a filmmaker, took part in the production of a series of documentaries that were broadcast through Arab and foreign media about the situation in the Gaza Strip.
Friday’s deaths bring the total number of Gazans martyred in the past week by Israeli army gunfire to 31, according to the ministry.
Over the same period, as many as 2,500 Palestinians have reportedly been injured by rubber bullets and/or live ammunition.
The border rallies, which began last Friday, kicked off a six-week demonstration that will culminate on May 15. That day will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment — an event Palestinians call the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”.
Demonstrators are demanding that Palestinian refugees be granted the “right of return” to their towns and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
Israel, for its part, has deployed thousands of troops along the fraught border with Gaza, vowing to use deadly force against anyone who threatens Israel’s “security infrastructure”.