Palestinian news photographer Mohammed Othman was badly injured by a shot fired by an Israeli soldier while covering clashes between young Palestinians and Israeli troops at the Beit Hanoun (Erez) border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel on 15 May, the anniversary of Israel’s creation, marked as “Nakba Day” (Day of Disaster) by Palestinians.
He was taken to Shifa hospital where he underwent surgery for a gunshot injury to the chest yesterday. Doctors described his condition as stable.
Reporters Without Borders was told that Othman was clearly identifiable as a journalist at the time of the shooting and was deliberately targeted. The press freedom organization urges the Israeli authorities to investigate the circumstances in which he was shot and punish those responsible.
In response to a call by the Union of Journalists, dozens of reporters gathered yesterday in Gaza City to express their support for Othman and to condemn Israeli military abuses against Palestinian journalists.
The toll from this year’s Nakba Day clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers was higher than usual, with more than 130 Palestinians injured in the Gaza Strip, and at last 10 dead and hundreds of injured in the Golan Heights (which Israel occupied in 1967 and annexed in 1981) and the West Bank. Incidents also took place on the border between Israel and Lebanon.