Journalist killed in Israel-Gaza protests

GAZA – A Palestinian journalist died on Saturday after being wounded by Israeli fire on Friday while covering deadly protests along the Israel-Gaza border, health officials said.

Yaser Murtaja, 30, a cameraman for Palestinian Ain Media, was the 29th Palestinian killed in the week-long protests.

Photos showed Murtaja lying wounded on a stretcher wearing a navy-blue protective vest marked “PRESS” in large black capital letters. Health officials said a live bullet had penetrated the side of his abdomen and he succumbed to his wounds in hospital.

A statement from the Israeli military said: “The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) does not intentionally target journalists. The circumstances in which journalists were allegedly hit by IDF fire are not familiar to the IDF and are being looked into.”

The daily protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return”, began on March 30 along the Israel-Gaza frontier, reviving a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages from which their families fled, or were driven out, when the state of Israel was created.

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