The Israeli army admitted Sunday that Palestinian reporter Yaser Murtaja, who was shot by Israeli forces while covering mass rallies along the Gaza border, was killed despite not posing any threat to Israeli soldiers, according to Israel’s Haaretz daily.
The story noted that the Israeli army refuted Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's statement that Murtaja was using a drone to film the demonstrations.
"I don't know if he (Murtaja) was a journalist as many terrorists disguise themselves as journalists. He was also filming with a drone, which posed a threat to Israeli soldiers," Liberman said Saturday, defending the Israeli soldiers.
The report also noted that the Israeli army found no evidence that any other journalists were filming the events using drones.
The story also confirmed that Murtaja was shot while wearing a "Press" vest.
Murtaja was shot in the abdomen by Israeli troops Friday while covering the "Great March of Return". He succumbed to his wounds Saturday, and his funeral was attended by hundreds of Palestinians.
At least 31 Palestinians have been martyred by Israeli forces since March 30, when the peaceful demonstrations began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The rallies are part of a six-week demonstration that will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment -- an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe".
Demonstrators demand that Palestinian refugees be granted the “right of return” to their towns and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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