A life taken too soon: Gazan journalist shot dead by Israel


Published: 2018-04-07 14:46

Last Updated: 2018-04-07 16:15

Editor: Abeer Ayyoub

Photo of Yaser (Facebook)
Photo of Yaser (Facebook)
Roya News Source

“I dream of the day I can capture this photo from the sky, not from the ground. My name is Yaser Murtaja, I’m 30, I live in Gaza, and I have never travelled abroad.”

Those were some of the last words written by the Gaza-based photographer and filmmaker on Facebook, before he was shot dead on Friday by an Israeli soldier while doing his job... on the ground.

Yaser was shot in the stomach while covering the Great Return March near the Gaza border. He was immediately taken to hospital to undergo emergency surgery. Everyone thought it would be a standard operation that he would definitely survive... but he didn’t. He was pronounced dead in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The news was shocking for everyone: his family, wife, friends, and colleagues, who knew him as brave and ambitious.

He had founded his own media production company with his friends, called “Ain Media.” He and his colleagues were always in the field covering both war and peace, until Yaser's death became the headline story to cover.

Hosam Salem, 30, his colleague and best friend, was working beside him on Friday when he watched him fall to the ground.

"Yaser was filming with his camera next to me when we heard the sound of gunfire," Salem said. "He just fell to the ground and said, 'I've been shot, I've been shot,'" Hosam told Al-Jazeera.

People in Palestine shared Yaser’s photo and Facebook posts all over social media, calling him “martyr of the truth,” as he was killed while trying to show the rest of the world what is really happening in Gaza.

Yaser had always told everyone that he wanted to get out of Gaza so he could improve his journalistic skills and become a better filmmaker, however, he neither had the chance to be lucky enough to leave through the often-closed Rafah border, nor did he have the time to do it, as Israel decided to end his life too soon.

Roya remembers and thanks Yaser and his colleagues’ incredible work filming episodes for the TV show "Mission Impossible."

May he rest in peace.