LONDON: Israeli Defense Forces have been accused of shooting and injuring two Palestinian journalists who were covering events in the occupied area of the West Bank.
Photojournalists Louay Samhan and Mahmoud Fawzy were reporting on a raid in the village of Deir al-Hatab, near the city of Nablus, when IDF opened fire and injured the two reporters.
A 21-year-old Palestinian man, Alaa Zaghal, was killed, and four other people injured in the incident.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said: “Israeli authorities must conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the shooting of two Palestinian journalists, and take all necessary precautions to ensure that the Israel Defense Force does not shoot at journalists doing their work.”
According to sources, Samhan and Fawzy, who were working for the Palestinian Authority-funded Palestine TV, were wearing helmets and blue vests that read “Press” on the front and back when they were shot on Wednesday.
A video of the incident shows the two journalists being shot in the hand and leg, respectively, before receiving medical attention. These facts were confirmed by Israeli reports and a statement by the journalists’ employer.
Palestinian Red Crescent Society confirmed on Thursday that Samhan and Fawzy were treated in hospital and are in a stable condition.
According to news reports, at the time of the incident IDF was carrying out a raid at the home of Hamas militant suspect Salman Amran.
It has been reported that during the raid Amran barricaded himself in the house and returned fire before being arrested.
In May, IDF was criticized after Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed by soldiers as she was reporting on an Israeli raid in Jenin.
Israeli officials first disputed that IDF soldiers shot Abu Akleh, but they later acknowledged that it was likely their fire resulted in her death.
Justin Shilad, CPJ’s senior Middle East and North Africa researcher, said: “Even after Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing generated outrage worldwide, the Israel Defense Forces have again fired on clearly marked journalists while they do their jobs.
“Israeli authorities must investigate this shooting immediately and implement procedures to ensure that journalists are not targets.”
Since March, the number of Israeli raids in the West Bank has surged, with news reports accusing the IDF of conducting near-daily raids of Palestinian homes, towns and villages.