Palestinian journalists launch campaign for colleague injured by Israeli soldier

RAMALLAH, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian journalists have launched a solidarity campaign as their colleague Moath Amarneh, a photojournalist, was severely injured by a metallic bullet in the eye fired by an Israeli soldier on Friday.

Moath Amarnih.jpg

Palestinian cameraman Moath Amarneh seen after being hit in the face by a two-two bullet shot by Israeli Border Police during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the village of Surif northwest of Hebron, West Bank, November 15, 2019. (Photo: Internet)

The campaign was announced on Saturday evening, after several journalists posted pictures of themselves with their left eyes covered and solidarity sit-ins were also organized.

Amarneh was treated at an Israeli hospital, who is at the risk of losing sight in his left eye permanently due to the bullet that hit him during his coverage of a protest against Israel's settlement activity in the south West Bank village of Sourif.

His wife Walaa Amarneh told Xinhua that her husband's condition is now stable, but is likely to go through more surgical operations.

She added that the family is determined to look into legal ways to punish those responsible for his injury and its consequences.

No official Israeli source commented on the incident.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) said that a legal team has been formed to seek legal pursuit of Amarneh's case against the Israeli army.

In a statement on Friday, PJS said Israeli soldiers "deliberately targeted journalists in Palestine," because the photojournalist wore a bullet-proof vest signed "Press" when he was targeted.

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Secretary-General Anthony Bellanger said in a statement on Friday "the IFJ deplores the attacks on Palestinian journalists by the Israeli military."

The IFJ recalls that international law applies everywhere and that no government is above it, the statement said.

It is now time for the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Convention for the Protection and Safety of Journalists, so that the impunity enjoyed by predators of press freedom and democracy can end in Israel as elsewhere, it added.

Local media watchdog, MADA organization, said that it had documented 128 physical attacks by Israeli forces against Palestinian journalists from the beginning of 2019 till Oct. 31, including opening fire, beating and serious tear gas suffocation.