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Seven journalists injured by Israeli soldiers in West Bank since January 2009

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders deplores the repeated use of violence against journalists covering peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank in protest against the construction of the Security Wall. The Israeli armed forces have been directly responsible for these incidents. The press freedom organisation wrote to defence minister Ehud Barak about this issue on 14 April 2009.

"Many journalists have been injured in recent weeks although they were clearly identified as working for the press," Reporters Without Borders said today. "Seven journalists have been injured in this manner since the start of the year by shots fired by Israeli soldiers. We again condemn these acts of violence and we urge the Israeli authorities to guarantee the safety of journalists operating in the region."

Atta 'Awad, a photographer employed by the Ramattan news agency, was injured by tear gas grenades fired by Israeli soldiers during the weekly protest against the Security Wall in Bil'in on 10 April. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries to the shoulder and back.

Journalist Mohamed Es-Said was injured while covering clashes between settlers and Palestinian residents in Safa, near Hebron, on 7 April. He was hit when Israeli soldiers fired tear gas grenades.

Reuters photographer Said el Houwari and Rabhi el Koubri, a photographer employed by the Palestinian news network Pal-media.net, were injured by bullets while they and other journalists were covering the weekly protest against the Security Wall in Bil'in on 3 April.

Khalil Riyash, a photographer employed by the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, and Reuters photographer Bachar Nazal were injured by rubber bullets while covering a protest against the Security Wall on 27 March in Jayyus (in Qalqilya district). They were hospitalised for a week.

Reporters Without Borders previously issued a release condemning the 23 January incident in which Spanish journalist Cristina Rivas sustained a serious leg injury in similar circumstances in Bil'in.

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