RAMALLAH – After a long day full of targeting and persecution, journalist Raneen Sawafta reassured her colleagues, saying, "Thank God, we have written a new life," and Raneen is one of dozens of journalists who survived being directly targeted while covering the storming of Jenin yesterday.
But photojournalist Hazem Nasser did not survive this time, and as he was steps away from Raneen, a bullet hit him directly in the waist.
Nasser fled leaving his journalistic equipment towards the ambulance with bullets passing like arrows over his head, and so far he has not recovered to talk about the circumstances of his injury, as surgery is scheduled for him on Wednesday to extract the bullet.
Happening to Al Jazeera Net photojournalist Jarrah Khalaf, who was accompanying Hazem, saying, "We were surprised by the shooting in our direction directly, we tried to cut easy exposed and we wear a press uniform and carry our equipment, however we were targeted."
He returned behind his stairs after Nasser was injured, and at that time bullets were released between his legs, until he hid between the wall of a building and a vehicle that was parked in the place, and continued, "The shooting was not a warning, but direct with the intention of killing."
The Israeli occupation forces targeted Palestinian journalists during their raid into Jenin, and pictures of the occupation forces besieging Palestinian journalists who were covering the storming of the camp, and showed the injury of journalist Hazem Nasser during the performance of his work.
The most dangerous coverage
Mohammed Ateeq, a freelance photographer who has been working in the field for nearly 10 years and has covered all Israeli incursions into Jenin refugee camp and northern West Bank areas over the past three years, describes the coverage on that day as "the most dangerous."
He continued to Al Jazeera Net "Since the beginning of the event in Jenin, we attended the place wearing our full press uniform, and after our observations shooting heavily at journalists, we thought of taking refuge in ambulances and being near."
During Ateeq's attempt to reach the gathering of ambulances on the opposite side of the camp, Israeli snipers began firing heavily at him.
Atiq did not find safety near the ambulances, but on the contrary, he and his journalists and ambulance men became within range of sniper gunfire, so the ambulance men demanded that they stay away from the ambulances, and take shelter against the wall of the civil society building in the place.
"We stayed lying on the ground and the shooting in our direction continued, even though the area is far from the clashes, we tried to get out with the ambulance to no avail, we lived hours of real terror," he said.
Last May witnessed an increase in the occupation violations against media freedoms, reaching 37 violations (social media)
The targeting was not limited to journalists in the heart of the camp, but also affected others who chose to cover from outside the camp, such as journalist Ibrahim al-Rantisi, and five other journalists stationed on the roof of an interview building more than 5 kilometers from the event in the camp.
Rantisi says to Al Jazeera Net, "I was with the camera crew attend an intervention on live television, and next to me the crew of Palestine TV and the crew of Roya TV, we were all exposed to the occupation soldiers in full, wearing full press uniform, and during that we heard the sound of shooting very close towards us, repeated shooting more than once by a sniper on the opposite building, one of the bullets passed next to the head of one of the photographers, directly we took the position of lying in the ground and we made the intervention on this situation. "
"We are not far from the place of the martyrdom of our colleague Shireen Abu Akleh a year ago, which we expected to create the international pressure that was formed after that to deter the occupation forces from targeting journalists, and that her death would be a protection for journalists, but what we see is the exact opposite, and it is clear that Shirin will not be the last," he said.
Local sources: "Journalist Jarrah Khalaf talks about targeting him and his colleague Hazem Nasser directly during their work covering events in Jenin." pic.twitter.com/MZxBf2uVSg
— Palinfo (@PalinfoAr) June 19, 2023
Not only a fetus
The testimony of journalists in Jenin did not differ from the testimony of journalists in Ramallah during their coverage of the demolition of Islam al-Farroukh's house on June 8, although the place and time differed. Moamen Samreen, a cameraman for the local Palestine Post channel, was the most prominent victim at the time, as he was hit by a rubber-coated metal bullet in his head, which led to a fractured skull and bleeding under the brain membrane.
Samrin, who still has symptoms of injury after two weeks of treatment, considers himself lucky that the bullet did not penetrate his brain.
Says photojournalist Mohamed Samreen (uncle of Moamen Samreen), who was accompanying him during his injury, to Al Jazeera Net, "We were more than 15 journalists on the roof of a building opposite fully exposed to the soldiers and wearing press uniforms, however we were targeted."
"While we were lying on the ground, Moamen Samreen moved in and tried to stand, and immediately one of the occupation soldiers on the ground fired a bullet, hitting him directly in the head," he said.
"We were in the place for more than three hours and the planes were close to us, and there is no room for error or suspicion that we are not journalists," Samreen said.
Mohammed Samreen has been injured in the field more than once, and most of these injuries are not counted, but they have become part of his journalistic work, he said.
The same happened to photojournalist Rabie Munir, who was wounded by a rubber bullet in the abdomen after being targeted by Israeli occupation soldiers more than once that day.
The goal is to kill.
Mounir says to Al Jazeera Net that the targeting did not stop throughout the coverage, which lasted about 6 hours continuously, and even after his injury and his return after more than two hours to carry the tools of photography, was targeted with gas and sound bombs, "the goal of all this targeting is to kill us and keep us away from the field permanently."
According to documentation by the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), the month of May witnessed an increase in the number of violations committed by Israel against media freedoms, which amounted to 37 violations.
Many journalists expect greater violations this month, especially with the escalation of settler attacks against them as well, as was the case on Tuesday during their coverage of the operation that took place on the Nablus-Ramallah road, where the Israeli occupation soldiers and settlers were double targeted.