Hundreds attended the funeral of a well-known Palestinian journalist in Gaza on Saturday who was killed while covering mass protests along the Israeli border the previous day.
Yasser Murtaja died from a gunshot wound he sustained while filming Friday in an area engulfed in thick black smoke from protesters setting tires on fire. Israeli troops opened fire from across the border, killing at least nine Palestinians and wounding 491 others in the second mass border protest in eight days. The deaths brought to at least 31 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since last week. The border area appeared calm Saturday.
Witnesses said Murtaja was over 100 meters (yards) from the border, wearing a flak jacket marked “press” and holding his camera when he was shot in an exposed area just below the armpit.
The Israeli military has said it fired only at “instigators” involved in attacks on soldiers and was investigating Murtaja’s death amid a very hectic environment.
Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since a 2007 takeover and calls for Israel’s destruction, has called for a series of protests until May 15, the anniversary of Israel’s founding when Palestinians commemorate their mass uprooting during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation. (AP)