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Two photographers hurt in Na’alin protests

Anshel Pfeffer | Ha’aretz

6 September 2009

Two photographers were lightly injured during a demonstration on Friday against the separation fence near the West Bank village of Na’alin. One of the injured was noted Israeli artist David Reeb. The other was Palestinian photographer Muhammad Amira.

About 250 Israelis and Palestinians attended the Na’alin demonstration. A smaller protest was held in the nearby village of Bilin.

Protesters began throwing rocks at Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Border Police forces, who responded by firing rubber-tipped bullets and teargas grenades. Protesters said yesterday the IDF used live munitions as well.

Reeb, who has attended the protests since they began, four years ago, had surgery to remove shrapnel from his leg and was set to be discharged from hospital today. He said yesterday he did not believe the soldiers were targeting him.

“I think I was hit by a bullet that ricocheted off the ground,” he said. “They shot much more than usual this Friday, and sometimes aimed directly at people.”

Reeb has been hurt in the protests twice before but this was the first time his injuries were serious enough to require hospitalization and surgery.

Reeb said he will return to the village next Friday. “These villages’ land is being robbed, and it’s important to keep reporting this and supporting them,” he said.

Also yesterday, al-Jazeera aired footage of its reporter at the scene coming under tear gas fire from a Border Police unit.