Thousands of social media users have taken part in a campaign to support Palestinian freelance journalist Muath Amarneh, who lost his eye after being wounded while covering a protest in the occupied West Bank last week.
Journalists from across the Arab world launched the campaign of solidarity after Amarneh was hit in the eye, apparently with a rubber bullet fired by Israeli forces who had arrived to quell the demonstrations last Friday in Surif.
As a result of the incident Amarneh lost one eye, posing a significant challenge to his career.
Israel’s border police said it did not target Amarneh at the protest near the city of Hebron and said it had used “nonlethal” means to disperse the crowd.
In a show of support, activists took photos of themselves covering an eye with one hand and posted them on social media, using the hashtags #MuathEye, or #EyeOfTruth.
Social media users from a variety of backgrounds – including teachers, students and youth organisations from dozens of countries across the world, ranging from the US to Malaysia, have joined the online movement.
‘Not an Anomaly’
According to Yara Hawari, a senior policy fellow at the Al-Shabaka think tank, Amarneh’s story is among dozens of similar cases.
“The heavy price that Amarneh paid for being both a Palestinian and a journalist is not an anomaly. Indeed at least 60 Palestinian journalists have been targeted and injured from Israeli bullets this year,” she told Al Jazeera.
“Not to mention the mass targeted maiming of protestors at the Great March of Return in Gaza … Such brutality and violence will continue so long as the international community fails to hold Israel accountable for its violations.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists responded to the incident in an official statement, calling on Israeli officials to start an investigation to “hold the soldiers responsible to account”.
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