Gaza buries journalist killed while covering mass protests

"Then I saw him, his face to the ground and a pool of blood underneath him". I live in Gaza City.

He signed off: "My name is Yaser Murtaja".

The nine dead Palestinians, including the journalist, were buried in Gaza on Saturday.

The incident occurred on Friday when the Israeli Army opened fire on protesters near the border with Israel, Efe news reported. Journalists were targeted despite wearing flak jackets marked with press identification.

The numbers were down from the previous Friday, when tens of thousands approached the border in demonstrations that saw Israeli forces kill 19 Palestinians, making it the bloodiest day in Gaza since a 2014 war.

He also called on the worldwide community to take an urgent action to "stop the systematic Israeli killing of the Palestinian people". Even devoted supporters of Israel can still feel sympathy for those living under the dysfunctional, cynical and corrupt rule of a Hamas government more devoted to Iran than its own people.

Palestinians burned tires to obscure the view of Israeli snipers poised to take out Gazans who managed to cross the border.

"There are indications that individuals killed or wounded were unarmed or did not pose a serious threat, and in some cases were actually running away from the Green Line fence", Elizabeth Throssell, a spokesperson for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said of last week's events.

Israeli troops on the other side of the fence responded with tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and water cannons, as well as occasional live fire.

The Tel Aviv regime, which its 70 years of life is filled with crimes against Palestinians and violation of worldwide law, is feeling more emboldened to do injustice against Palestinians now that Trump is at the White House, Saudi Arabia's crown prince is wagging the tail at Israel, and the Arab world is fractured.

"The violent march on Israel's southern border is another deliberate provocation by #Hamas, which intentionally endangers #Gaza civilians, including women and children, while trying to put the blame on Israel", Israel's Foreign Ministry tweeted.

Fifty-one Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza so far this year, including Iyad Zabarka, a 30-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel who was shot dead by soldiers in the West Bank while fleeing the scene after he reportedly crashed a stolen auto during a chase with a private security company on Tuesday. Last week, a similar resolution sponsored by Kuwait was vetoed by the U.S. He died of his injuries in a hospital on Saturday.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society, which has established five advanced medical posts near various protest sites, also warned of a shortage of medical supplies and of personal protective equipment for their 400-person team.

The army denies using excessive force, saying it is fulfilling its mission to thwart infiltrations and protect Israeli border communities by using "warnings, riot dispersal and as a last resort live rounds in a precise, measured way".

About 20,000 Palestinians participated in protests dubbed the "Friday of Tires" along the Israel-Gaza border.

  • Leroy Wright