MADA calls for an independent commission to investigate the killing of journalists

Ramallah /PNN/

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) calls for the formation of an independent commission of inquiry into the killing of Palestinian journalists Ahmed Abu Hussein and Yasser Murtaja during their coverage of the peaceful return marches in the Gaza Strip.

The journalist Ahmad Abu Hussein, 25 years old, died on Wednesday (25/4/2018) after being targeted with an explosive ammunition bullet fired by Israeli snipers while covering the “return march” east of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip, 19 days following the killing of Yaser Murtaja (31years), who was also targeted by an Israeli occupation sniper.
MADA center documented at least 12 journalists targeted with live ammunition by Israeli snipers in the Gaza Strip; a grave breach of the fourth Geneva, since the start of the peaceful return march 30/03/2018 until the evening of 24/4/2018.

Ahmed Abu Hussein, a journalist at the “Sawt Al Sha’b” the Voice of the People radio station in Gaza, was wounded on 13/4/2018, A member of the General Secretariat of the Journalists Syndicate and a colleague of the journalist Abu Hussein in “Sawt Al Sha’b” Voice of the People, journalist Rami Al-Sharafi reported to MADA Center that journalist Abu Hussein at 2:30 pm on 13/4/2018, was covering the peaceful demonstration hundreds of meters far from the border fence East Jabalia,. He was identifiable with the press vest.

He was targeted by Israeli Occupation forces with an explosive live bullet, right below the press vest penetrated his left abdomen, he was immediately transferred to the Indonesian hospital north of Gaza where he underwent a surgery lasted 3 hours and a half, were one kidney and the spleen and part of the pancreas were removed to save his life. He was diagnosed with acute bleeding related to aortic artery.

The next day, procedures started to obtain him a permit to be transferred for treatment in Ramallah. He was actually transferred on Monday 16/4 to the Ramallah Medical Complex, where they found that he is suffering from toxemia, he underwent another surgery, his health was improved until Thursday 18/04, were his health status deteriorated, he was transferred to the Israeli Hospital Tel Hashomer, were they discovered he has a brain damage that led to Ahmed’s coma, until about 4:15 pm on Wednesday 25/4 where he was declared dead.

The killing of journalist Ahmed Abu Hussein brings to 43 the total number of journalists killed by the Israeli occupation forces since the beginning of 2000 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) based on various information and data available through the monitoring and documentation unit at MADA, on the killing of journalists Ahmad Abu Hussein and Yasser Murtaja, and the wounding of 12 other journalists with live ammunition (causing severe injuries, some of the injuries left lifetime physical effects on journalists). Besides, doubled numbers of partial injuries among journalists.

However, the culture of impunity enjoyed by the Israeli Occupation Forces, and the ongoing target of journalists that goes without accountability, encourage IOF to continue to commit these crimes on a fast pace. Therefore, MADA center calls for the formation of an independent commission of inquiry into all these crimes, particularly the killing of journalists, and calls on all international community to put pressure on Israel and take real actions to demand the prosecution of perpetrators and to put an end to acts of impunity that are an incentive for the Israeli army to carry out its flagrant attacks against journalists and against Media freedoms in Palestine.

In the photo the journalist Ahmed Abu Hussein after being targeted by Israeli Occupation Snipers in the field (By Photographer Saber Ashraf)

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