In 2017, Yasser Murtaja worked with Ai Weiwei on his documentary Human Flow. On April 6, 2018, he was shot dead while covering rallies at the border of Gaza and Israel. He was 31.

Source: Yasser Murtaja. Photo: Mohanad Yaqubi.

Yasser Murtaja was shot in the stomach though he was wearing a helmet and a protective vest with a “Press” sign. He died from his injuries in hospital.

Nine more people were shot dead on that day. According to the Guardian, at least 31 people, among them 19 Palestinians and 2 armed armed militants, have been killed since protests erupted in March. Israel claims 10 out of 19 were militants.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) accused the authorities of Israel of the disproportionate use of force against protesters and called to investigate crimes against press freedom.

The 6-week protest is due to end on May 15, the day of the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence and opening the US embassy in Jerusalem. Palestinians call it Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), because the creation of Israel forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes.

Activists said the protests were non-violent, but the Israeli government claimed Hamas, a militant group controlling Gaza, planned to attack the Israeli border. Hamas is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US, the EU and Israel.

The Israeli military said the Israeli Deference Forces did “not intentionally target journalists”.

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