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Attack against Palestinian journalists shows Israeli soldiers' disregard for their safety

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the deliberate targeting of Palestinian journalists by Israeli troops while covering the clashes that erupted following the death of a Palestinian citizen.

According to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), Watan TV photographer Amjad Shuman and fellow reporter Ayser Barghouti were attacked with rubber bullets and sound grenades by Israeli soldiers while they filmed the clashes in the Palestinian village of Bil'in, west of Ramallah. Shuman received a wound to his scalp when he was hit by shrapnel from a sound grenade.

He was taken to the hospital in Ramallah for treatment where he stayed the night, before returning home to continue his recovery. During his time in hospital, Shuman met with members of PJS and advised them that the attack had been deliberate and had taken place at very close range, even though he had shown the Israeli soldiers his camera and press card.

"We condemn the use of such extreme violence against working journalists who were attacked simply for carrying out their jobs," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "This latest incident is another example of the Israeli soldiers' disregard for the safety of Palestinian journalists and their right to life."

"We call for a thorough investigation to identify and punish those soldiers who carried out this act and bring them to swift justice."

PJS has accused Israel forces of putting lives at risk targeting the media. The union has also asked commended the courage and professionalism of the Palestinian journalists.

IFJ has supported its affiliate's call and reiterated that Israel has a duty to fulfil its international obligations under international law.

"The government in Israel has failed to keep its military's conduct in check," added Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. "This incident provides an opportunity for them to show the will to take action and end these abuses of authority."

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