Phtographers and the Israeli Army

Against the Current No. 17, November/December 1988

FREELANCE PHOTO JOURNALIST Neal Cassidy, wounded by a plastic bullet fired by Israeli soldiers in Nablus October 18, 1988 was the first foreign journalist hit by live fire while covering the intifada. Cassidy was in the West Bank with Frontline reporter Phyllis Bennis.

The same day, five-year-old Ziya Jihad Fayez Haj-Mohammed died after six hours of emergency surgery at Al-lttihad hospital The boy, standing outside his own Nablus home, was shot by a soldier on an adjoining roof at less than twenty meters distance.

Bennis, who was able to obtain a photograph of the dying child in the operating room, says, “At least two bullets had caused massive injury to his liver, stomach, spleen and left lung. His death was ultimately caused by suffocation, when his perforated lung aspirated particles of food from the sandwich the child had been eating when shot.”

When a hospital surgeon described the Palestinian child’s condition to an Israeli army medic, the medic responded “thls is good — to prevent everything (in the uprising) from happening.”

Soldiers came to the room in the same hospital where Neal Cassidy, the wounded American photographer was being treated, demanding that he be transferred to an Israeli hospital. “I have had enough of your hospitality, and I refuse,” Cassidy replied.

November-December 1988, ATC 17

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