Palestinian journalist Ahmad Abu Hussein was covering the mass protest along the Gaza-Israeli border earlier this month when he was allegedly shot by the Israeli forces. The 24-year-old freelance photographer, who was also a correspondent for Al-Shaab radio station, was wearing a blue vest that said “Press” and a helmet marked “TV” – but as has been witnessed before, that didn’t stop Israeli snipers from targeting him.
Expanding “dum-dum” bullets struck Hussein in the abdomen. He was transferred from one hospital to another and the doctors had to remove parts of his pancreas and liver, which was badly damaged. But that wasn’t enough to same him.
Nearly two weeks later, the young reporter succumbed to his wounds, confirmed the Palestinian officials.
Tragically, he is the second Palestinian journalist to have died of the injuries sustained during the coverage of “Great March of Return.”
Yaser Murtaja, a 30-year-old photographer and the co-founder of Ain Media – a team of Palestinian media professionals reporting on the events taking place near Gaza’s border with Israel, was the first journalist to have lost his life while covering what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration.
Just like Hussein, Murtaja was also wearing a blue “Press” vest when he was shot.
Hussein was originally treated in a hospital in Gaza before being moved to a hospital in Ramallah. He was later transfer to Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv, where he passed away. He body was then sent to Al-Andalusi hospital in Gaza.
A spokesperson for Gaza's Ministry of Health suggested Hussein probably could have been saved had Israel not delayed his transfer to the West Bank.
“He was supposed to be transferred to the hospital in Ramallah immediately, as his situation was very critical,” Ashraf al-Qidra told the Middle East Eye. “Unfortunately he was transferred two days after being injured, due to complications with Israeli security forces.”
The reporter’s unfortunate death has been condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists as well.
“Protective gear that clearly indicates individuals are members of the press should afford them extra protection – not make them targets,” Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the committee, told Al Jazeera. “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.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Mohammed Salem