News photographers hit by Israeli rubber bullets during Palestinian riot


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two news photographers were hit by rubber-coated bullets fired by an Israeli border policeman during Palestinian rioting.

Majdi Mohammed was working for The Associated Press when he was struck Sunday at close range during riots following the funeral for a Palestinian-American teenager killed by Israeli soldiers, AP reported. The Israeli military said the teen was preparing to throw a firebomb at traffic.

Neither Mohammed nor Lazar Simeonov, a Swiss freelance photographer, were seriously injured in the incident, which was captured on video.

The shooting showed “reckless disregard for the safety of journalists who were doing their job in a lawful way,” said John Daniszewski, AP’s senior managing editor for international news, said.

AP said it would protest the incident to the Israeli military, police and government.

According to the photographers, they were not ordered away from the scene, nor was the area declared closed by security forces.

Mohammed told AP that an armored jeep pulled up behind him and a border policeman fired directly at him from a distance of 10 to 20 yards.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the AP that police “dispersed hundreds of rioters” in the area who were throwing rocks and firebombs at security forces. Rosenfeld said he did not know why the police fired on the photographers.

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