'The IDF does not fire at journalists'

IDF says live fire only used as last resort in response to threats like being shot at, explosives, grenades, after journalist said killed.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gaza riots
Gaza riots
IDF spokesperson

An IDF Spokesperson responded Saturday night to the death of Yasser Murtha, who according to Arab sources was a journalist who was killed by IDF fire during the violent riots at the Gaza border fence Friday.

"The IDF is dealing with the Hamas terrorist organization, which is trying to turn the area of ​​the fence with Israel into a subterranean fighting zone, and with Israeli settlements and civilians within dozens of meters of the fence. [The IDF acts] to protect these communities and prevent infiltration into Israel. For weeks now, the IDF has warned against approaching the fence and called on Gaza residents not to obey the orders of the Hamas terrorist organization and to refrain from terrorist acts and other violent acts against Israel," the spokesman said.

"Since last Friday, the IDF has been dealing with tens of thousands of people approaching the fence, all of them led by Hamas, and the IDF soldiers have dealt with being shot at [by the terrorists], the placing of explosive charges at the fence, the throwing of grenades, and the throwing Molotov cocktails and stones. IDF soldiers act in response [to these threats], in accordance with clear instructions for the current scenario.

"The tools used by the IDF include warnings, riot control measures, and, as a last resort, live fire in a precise and measured manner. The IDF is committed to preventing infiltration into Israeli territory and threats against its forces and citizens. The circumstances in which journalists were allegedly injured by IDF gunfire are unknown and are being investigated."

MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint Arab List) attacked the IDF on Twitter following the riots. "They also shoot journalists, and six journalists were shot by snipers," Tibi wrote.