GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – An Associated Press cameraman was shot and wounded Monday while covering a demonstration in the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses and medical officials said.
Rash Rashid, 47, was beaten at the feet during weekly protests next to the Israeli border. The doctor said he had several fractures above the ankle and would need surgery.
The witness said he was about 600 meters (1,969 feet) from the fence, far from the demonstrators. He operated the camera directly in the higher area facing the protest and wore a blue helmet and brown protective vest with the word "PRESS" written in white.
Coworkers say fire emerged from the Israeli side of the border. The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident.
Najib Jobain, a senior AP producer in Gaza, said he spoke on the phone to Rashid when he was shot.
"While I was on the phone, I heard him yell & # 39; I hit, I hit, & # 39;" said Jobain, who said Rashid told him that the protest had ended and he would stop transmission.
Majed Hamdan, the AP driver, worked with the Rashid and was collecting equipment to be loaded into their vehicle when the protest died down. "I started putting some of our things in the car when I heard Rashed shouting," he said.
For almost eight months, Gaza Hamas rulers have organized mass demonstrations and threatened to invade the border to pressure Israel to reduce the crippling blockade. Some Palestinians have broken security fences or crossed into Israeli territory.
More than 170 Palestinians were killed and hundreds were injured, while at least two Israeli soldiers were killed.
Israel accuses Hamas of endangering civilians by using demonstrations as a cover for stage attacks. He said it opened fire only if needed and had been under a series of rockets.
Leaders in Gaza say many Palestinians killed were unarmed.
Rashid has worked for AP since 2002.
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