Two journalists have been wounded in Gaza as they covered weekly Friday protests taking place as part of the Great March of Return.
Mohammed Abu Qadous was injured in the leg are a tear gas canister was fired at him by Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border. Al-Mayadeen correspondent Ahmad Ghanem was also injured in the east of the Strip while reporting on the protest. Both reporters, who were wearing clearly marked press vests, were quickly taken to nearby medical tents to receive treatment and are believed to be in a stable condition.
At least 14 other Palestinians have also been injured so far today by sniper fire and tear gas, as they protested for the 43rd Friday under the banner “Unity is the key to victory”.
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) January 18, 2019
Tens of thousands of Gazan have continued to gather at the weekly protests, despite Israel’s violent suppression of the rallies that injure scores of people every Friday. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasim said the ongoing demonstrations “confirm our people’s commitment to the path of struggle until our objectives are met”.
Israel has also consistently targeted journalists covering the Great March of Return. At least two reporters in Gaza, including MEMO contributor Yaser Murtaja, were killed by Israeli forces last year; at least 80 others were wounded by sniper fire. Journalists on the ground say they have been deliberately targeted by soldiers, as Israel does not want its brutal crackdown to be exposed.
More than 250 Palestinians have been killed, and over 25,000 have been injured by Israeli forces since last March. Gazans have been calling for lifting the 11-year-old Israeli siege and for their right to return to the homes from which their families were forced from during the 1948 Nakba, which led to the creation of the state of Israel.