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'Citizen Journalism' on the Rise, Garnering International Attention for Palestinian, Global Struggle

Common Dreams staff

Video of an incident filmed on Saturday by Ibrahim Makhlouf (not pictured) is displayed by his son in the West Bank village of Aseera al-Qibliya village near Nablus May 22, 2012. (Photo: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman Ibrahim Makhlouf)

'Citizen Journalism' is on the rise around the world as technology and social media are making it easier to share documentation of first hand accounts of events around the world, Reuters reports today.

This week, footage surfaced of Israeli settlers opening fire on protesting Palestinian civilians, resulting in the shooting of one unarmed Palestinian man. The footage, recorded by a 'citizen journalist' on a hand held camera, quickly went viral and garnered international attention. The Israeli Defense Force is now 'investigating' the incident, but the reporting has gained much international attention to the Palestinian plight.

The recent footage has been added to a growing catalog of digital documentation from the West bank inciting international outrage and revealing the inadequacies of corporate media's coverage of the conflict.

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Settler shooting Palestinians, 'Asira al-Qibliya, 19.5.2012, raw footage, 1st camera:

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Reuters: "Citizen journalism" focuses on Israeli occupation

Amateur video of Israeli soldiers appearing to watch idly as settlers opened fire on Palestinians throwing stones has emphasized the growing power of "citizen journalism" in the occupied West Bank.

Shaky footage, captured on Saturday from two angles by residents of Aseera al-Qibliya village, shows bearded residents from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar aiming a hand gun and assault rifle at the crowd, followed by sounds of gunfire.

A bloodied youth shot in the face was shown being carried away on the shoulders of fellow villagers. The video was soon posted on the Internet.

Teacher Ibrahim Makhlouf, who filmed the incident, lives by the brush scorched in the clashes on the village's edge, beneath the gaze of the prefabricated suburbs of Yitzhar, which lie outside the official settlement boundary.

"We want the whole world to see what Israel and the settlers do to us. They steal our land and they attack us, and the world said we were the terrorists and criminals," he said.

"Now we can make it clear who's the aggressor and who's attacking whom. The truth contradicts their claims about our situation." [...]

The incident was the latest in a series of images captured by activists and other people in the West Bank which are attracting fierce scrutiny by the international and Israeli media on practices in territory seized in the 1967 war.

Some 340,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, which most refer to by the Biblical names of Judea and Samaria. Many claim an ancestral right to the land and reject the fact that the United Nations deems the settlements illegal.


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