New York, October 6, 2022 – Israeli authorities must conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the shooting of two Palestinian journalists and take all necessary precautions to ensure that the Israel Defense Force does not shoot at journalists doing their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday.
On Wednesday, October 5, IDF soldiers shot and injured photojournalists Louay Samhan and Mahmoud Fawzy while they reported on a raid in the village of Deir al-Hatab near the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Nablus for the Palestinian National Authority-funded broadcaster Palestine TV, according to multiple news reports. A 21-year-old Palestinian man, Alaa Zaghal, was killed in the incident.
IDF soldiers shot one of the journalists in his hand, and the other was injured in his leg, arm, and hand, according to those reports, a video of the incident, and a statement by the journalists’ employer. CPJ was unable to verify further details about the injuries. However, both journalists received medical treatment and are in stable condition, according to a CNN report quoting the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The journalists were wearing helmets and blue vests that read “Press” on the front and back when they were attacked. According to the reports, IDF soldiers injured four other people during the raid.
In May 2022, IDF soldiers shot and killed Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh while she was reporting on an IDF raid in Jenin. Israeli authorities initially denied that IDF soldiers shot her, despite eyewitness accounts and investigations, before saying in September that Abu Akleh was likely killed by unintentional IDF fire.
“Even after Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing generated outrage worldwide, the Israel Defense Forces have again fired on clearly marked journalists while they do their jobs,” said Justin Shilad, CPJ’s senior Middle East and North Africa researcher. “Israeli authorities must investigate this shooting immediately and implement procedures to ensure that journalists are not targets.”
According to the news reports, the IDF was raiding the home of Salman Amran, whom IDF said it suspected of working with Hamas militants. Amran barricaded himself in the house and returned fire on IDF but was ultimately arrested, according to those reports.
The shootings of Samhan and Fawzy come as the IDF has conducted near-daily raids of Palestinian homes, towns, and villages since March, according to news reports.
A spokesperson for IDF’s North American Media Desk responded to CPJ after publication to say that they are aware of the reports of journalists being injured and “the operational activity is being examined according to standard procedure.”
Editors’ Note: The headline was corrected to fix a typo and the last paragraph was updated with IDF’s post-publication response.