A Palestinian photographer has lost his sight in one eye after he was hit in the eye with a bullet fired by an Israeli border policeman.
Muad Amarna was wearing a bullet-proof vest with the label “Press” and a helmet while covering a demonstration in a Palestinian village near Hebron on Friday."Contrary to the allegations made and as can be seen in the footage, the security forces operated in the area in front of dozens of rioters, some of them masked, who threw stones at officers and burnt tires," the Police Foreign Press Spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday. "The response by the forces was using non-lethal means in order to disperse the rioters, in accordance with the procedures and after receiving permission The use of the non-lethal means was not directed at all at the photographer, and his injury could have been caused by the violent rioters," the spokesman added. "We wish the photographer a fast recovery and call on journalists covering all the violent protests to do so without risking their own safety in such violent and complex situations."
He said he was standing apart from a group of Palestinian youths throwing rocks at police to remain out of the line of fire, Haaretz reported. He was hit by a bullet that ricocheted off the ground, other photographers said.
A prior police statement said that “Security forces confronted dozens of lawbreakers, some of them masked, who were throwing stones and burning tires. The forces used riot-dispersal methods in accordance with procedure after obtaining the necessary permission. The photographer was not targeted and his injury may have resulted from his proximity to the violent demonstrators. … We wish the photographer a speedy recovery and call on journalists who cover violent incidents to do so without compromising their safety in complex and violent locations of this kind.”
Following the incident, photo journalists from around the world posted on social media photos of themselves with one eye covered by a patch.