Security Sources: Palestinian Photographer Shot Dead in Border Protests Was Hamas Officer
Written by TPS on April 10, 2018
Yasser Murtaja, the Palestinian photographer shot dead during violent protests along the Gaza border last Friday, was a Hamas operative who was on the organization’s payroll, security sources told the Walla! news website Tuesday.
According to the sources, Murtaja as an officer with the rank of major in Hamas’ security apparatus. They added that Murtaja had attempted to smuggle drones into Gaza in order to collect intelligence for Hamas. The sources noted that senior Hamas military officials had attended his funeral.
Murtaja was cofounder of Ain Media, a company that provided media services including drone photography.
Following his death, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Murtaja had been flying a drone during the protest.
“I don’t know who is or isn’t a photographer. Anyone who operates drones above IDF soldiers needs to understand he’s putting himself in danger,” Liberman said.
“We’ve seen dozens of cases where Hamas terrorists used ambulances, dressed up as Red Crescent personnel and disguised themselves as journalists. We won’t take any chances,” he added.
The IDF has said only that it is investigating the case.
Following the revelations on Walla!, David Keyes, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman to foreign media, tweeted “Turns out the “photographer” killed in Gaza was an officer in Hamas, a terrorist org that seeks Israel‘s destruction. On Hamas’ payroll since 2011. Used his drone to collect intel on Israeli positions. Countless reporters called him a “journalist.” Will they correct the record?”