Is­rael bars shot Pales­tinian from spe­cial­ist treat­ment in Jerusalem

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Is­rael has barred a Pales­tinian pho­tog­ra­pher al­legedly shot in the eye by an Is­raeli sol­dier from en­ter­ing east Jerusalem for spe­cial­ist treat­ment, he told AFP on Wed­nes­day.

Nidal Sh­tayyeh, who works for Chi­nese news agency Xin­hua, was wounded while cov­er­ing a small demon­stra­tion at Huwarra check­point near the north­ern West Bank city of Nablus on May 16.

As he was cov­er­ing the rally, Sh­tayyeh was hit in the face by a rub­ber bul­let which en­tered his eye, caus­ing se­ri­ous dam­age, he told AFP.

“The march was

peace­ful and no stones were thrown, no pho­tog­ra­phers were tak­ing any pic­tures,” he said, ac­cus­ing sol­diers of fir­ing sound bombs at the pho­tog­ra­phers with­out any provo­ca­tion.

“I raised my cam­era to my right eye to take a pic­ture, but a sol­dier shot me in my left eye with his ri­fle, and the rub­ber bul­let went through my gas mask’s glass eye cover and into my eye.”

An Ital­ian cam­er­a­woman was also in­jured dur­ing the same demon­stra­tion which came as Pales­tini­ans marked the “Nakba,” or “catas­tro­phe” that be­fell them when Is­rael was es­tab­lished in 1948.

At the time, the army said at least 100 Pales­tini­ans had been throw­ing stones and petrol bombs, and that troops had re­sponded with “riot dis­per­sal means.”

Sh­tayyeh was rushed to Rafidiya hos­pi­tal in Nablus for ini­tial treat­ment but was pre­scribed spe­cial­ist help at St John’s eye hos­pi­tal in an­nexed east Jerusalem.

As a Pales­tinian living in the West Bank, Sh­tayyeh had to ap­ply for an Is­raeli per­mit to en­ter Jerusalem.

But Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties turned down his re­quest.

He tried again two more times — once through the Red Cross and once through a pri­vate Is­raeli lawyer. But both re­quests were re­jected.

A spokesman for the Shin Bet in­ter­nal se­cu­rity agency did not have an im­me­di­ate re­sponse.

Sh­tayyeh’s lawyer, Itai Matt, told AFP that his client had been in­formed it was the Shin Bet pre­vent­ing his en­try, de­spite his hav­ing been granted such per­mis­sion in the past.

Ac­cord­ing to Matt, Is­raeli se­cu­rity ser­vices “reg­u­larly bar en­try to any­one wounded by the army.”

“They even bar en­try to wounded chil­dren seek­ing treat­ment in Jerusalem, be­cause they are wor­ried that any­one wounded will try and take re­venge af­ter their treat­ment,” he said.

Xin­hua did not re­spond to AFP’s re­quests for a com­ment on the in­ci­dent.

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