On July 19 and 20, 2019, Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters that hit Palestinian journalists while they were covering protests in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, injuring at least three, according to local press freedom organizations.
On July 19, Israeli soldiers fired a rubber bullet that hit Sami Jamal Taleb Misran, a photojournalist and cameraman for the Hamas-affiliated broadcaster Al-Aqsa TV, in his left eye while he was covering protests east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza and was wearing a vest clearly marked “Press,” according to Palestinian press freedom organization MADA, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, video footage shared on Facebook, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
The journalist was subsequently transferred to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, according to those reports. Misran´s father was cited by MADA as saying that his son was transferred to the al-Ayoun Government Hospital in Gaza City on July 20 to undergo surgery to remove fragments of the bullet from his cornea. In a video recorded at the al-Ayoun Hospital and shared on Facebook, Misran, with his left eye bandaged, said the shrapnel was successfully removed from his cornea.
Also on July 19 near the al-Bureij refugee camp, Israeli forces fired a rubber bullet that hit Safinaz al-Louh, a reporter for the news website Amad, in the back, according to her employer and the reports that covered Misran’s shooting.
In a video and a photo posted by Amad, which is affiliated with the Palestinian politician Mohammad Dahlan, al-Louh can be seen wearing a clearly marked “Press” vest while she was treated for her wounds. Al-Louh was previously hit in her right leg by a tear gas canister while covering protests on April 5, as CPJ reported at the time.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, at least 118 civilians were injured during the protests in the Gaza Strip on July 19.
On July 20, Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister that hit Ayat Arqawi, a photographer for the local photojournalism agency APA Images, in the stomach while she was covering a protest against the demolition of Palestinian houses in Wadi al-Homs, a neighborhood south of Jerusalem, according to MADA, news reports, and video and pictures posted on Facebook by Palestinian news agencies.
The Israeli Defense Forces did not respond to CPJ´s emailed request for comment on these cases.