One Palestinian journalist was injured on Thursday, likely by accident, during clashes between IDF soldiers and Palestinians in Ramallah related to an IDF demolition of the home of a Palestinian terrorist.
Palestinian sources said that two journalists were injured, but the IDF said that only one of the two named was actually a journalist and the Jerusalem Post could not independently corroborate the Palestinian reports.
The two, according to the sources, were injured by rubber bullets fired by the soldiers when dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks and petrol bombs at the troops.
Photojournalist Mu’men Samareen was reportedly shot in the head as security forces were dismantling the home of Islam Faroukh, the terrorist behind the November Jerusalem bus stop bombings.
In those bombings, Tadasa Tashume Ben Ma’ada, a 50-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli, and Aryeh Shechopak, a 16-year-old Canadian-Israeli yeshiva student were murdered, while a couple dozen others were wounded.
The IDF Spokesperson's unit put out a statement on Thursday morning saying:
"During the activity in the city of Ramallah, violent outbreaks developed in several locations, during which suspects threw stones, Molotov cocktails and [other] explosives at IDF soldiers. Security forces responded with dispersal measures and live fire...injuries were seen.
Based on a preliminary investigation, it appears that a Palestinian photojournalist who was in the area of the violent disturbance was injured...by a rubber bullet. The circumstances of the incident are under review. The IDF makes every effort not to harm those not involved and is very strict about freedom of movement and the press."
The photographer was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Palestinian sources claimed that Rabi’ al-Munayyer is also a journalist and was reportedly injured from a bullet wound to the abdomen in Ramallah on Wednesday night, but the IDF said that he is not a journalist.
The two Palestinians were reported to be in stable condition. Initial reports said Samareen was seriously injured, but doctors later said the rubber bullet only caused a fracture in the skull and did not reach the brain. As a result, he was suffering from minor bleeding, but his condition is stable, they said.
Statement from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) released a statement on Thursday morning condemning the IDF's alleged "targeting and crimes against Palestinian journalists."
"Journalist Mu’men Samareen was injured by a metal bullet fired by occupation soldiers at his head and was taken to Ramallah Hospital for treatment," the PJS statement read, "while journalist Rabi’ al-Munayyer was injured with a metal bullet to the abdomen and is still being treated at Ramallah Hospital after the occupation forces targeted the journalist crews during their coverage of the occupation's raid in the city of #Ramallah last night."
The group said that it will pursue its efforts to bring the perpetrators to trial before the International Criminal Court and other legal forums.