Palestinian journalist loses eye after Border Police open fire on protesters

Photojournalist Moath Amarnih was struck by a bullet that likely hit the leg of a protester before ricocheting and hitting him in the head while covering a protest in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian cameraman Moath Amarnih 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, , November 15, 2019

Oren Ziv reports in +972 Magazine

A Palestinian journalist lost his eye after Israel Border Police officers opened fire at demonstrators in a village near Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Friday. The photojournalist, Moath Amarnih, was wounded while covering confrontations between young Palestinian protesters and police following a demonstration against a settlement’s takeover of land belonging to the Palestinian village of Surif, northwest of Hebron.

According to journalists who were at the scene, Border Police officers used live 0.22 inch Ruger rifle bullets (also known as “two-two” bullets) against the demonstrators, which likely struck the leg of one protester before changing direction and hitting Amarnih, who was standing approximately 150 meters from the officers, in the eye. The officers did not offer him medical aid and delayed his evacuation from the scene. One of the officers filmed Amarnih’s face from up close as he was being carried away by journalists.

“I saw him get a live bullet in the head, I thought he was dead,” said one Palestinian journalist who was standing near Amarnih at the moment he was shot.

For the second week in a row, dozens of Palestinians marched in Surif against the fencing off of their agricultural land in order to expand the adjacent settlement. The villagers attempt to reach the fenced-off land and hold a mass prayer there, yet have not been allowed to enter by Border Police officers, who used tear gas and stun grenades to put down the protest.

A few hundred meters from the site of the protest, several young Palestinians began throwing stones at the officers. “There were around seven young men who threw stones and blocked the dirt path,” the journalist said. “We climbed the hill to avoid the line of fire. After 10 minutes, a soldier shot a Ruger bullet that hit a protester. The bullet passed through his leg, changed direction, and hit Moath, who was not standing behind the stone throwers and the police.”

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