IFJ Condemns Shooting of Palestinian Photographer in Aida Refugee Camp

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the shooting of a Palestinian photographer in a Refugee Camp on the West Bank yesterday evening, 9 Monday April, by Israeli soldiers and called for disciplinary action against the individuals involved in  the shooting.

According to media reports, Palestinian photographer Mohammed Al-Azza was shot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli soldiers as he took pictures of them after they entered Aida Refugee Camp, near Beit Jala, at about 5:30pm.  

The incident follows the shooting of another Palestinian photographer in Ramallah on 5 March.

"This is the latest example of the Israeli soldiers' disregard for the safety of Palestinian journalists and their right to life," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "The soldiers who deliberately carried out this violent act must be swiftly identified and answer for their crime."  

Mr Al-Azza, who works for Laje'oon Center, was taken to the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabiliation hospital in Beit Jalla where he underwent two surgeries to remove the bullet which had lodged in his cheek below his right eye and fractured his skull, reports said. While his injuries are serious, he is expected to make a full recovery.

The IFJ has consistently called on the government in Israel to keep the conduct of its military in check.

"Israel has a duty to fulfill its international obligations and ensure its soldiers do not cause harm to journalists and media workers who cover the ongoing conflict in the region," added IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "This incident provides an opportunity for them to show their commitment to ending these abuses of authority."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries