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Photographer deliberately shot by Israeli soldier during Nakba Day clashes

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 May 15, 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.

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) was told that Othman was clearly identifiable as a journalist at the time of the shooting and was deliberately targeted. The press freedom organisation urged the Israeli authorities to investigate the circumstances in which he was shot and punish those responsible.

"Israeli authorities must launch a timely and transparent investigation into the shooting of Mohammed Othman, and punish any individuals guilty of misconduct," said New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "In addition, Israel must also do everything it can to facilitate Othman's medical evacuation to another country if requested."

In response to a call by the Union of Journalists, dozens of reporters gathered May 16 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.

Date posted: May 17, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 83