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Artist Rehab Nazzal Shot in West Bank

Artist Rehab Nazzal has released a statement that she was shot by a sniper in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem on Friday afternoon while photographing a “skunk” truck, a non-lethal weapon used by the Israeli Defense Forces that sprays chemicals with a strong sewage smell for crowd control.

In the release, which was circulated by artist Jamelie Hassan, Nazzal reports: “While walking, I would take shelter every few metres to avoid the tear gas and the “Skunk” army truck that was spraying sewage chemical liquid on the protesters and the surrounding neighbourhoods. When I stopped by a corner of one of the shops, and while taking some photographs, I was suddenly shot in the leg. I did not realize what had happened. The last image I photographed shows a sniper hiding on the ground near the entrance to one of the city’s hotels.”

The bullet entered and exited Nazzal’s leg without shattering bone, and she is in stable condition.

“What shocked me was the fact that I was alone, with no clashes, no stone throwers, absolutely no one around me, and yet I was intentionally shot by a sniper. This was not an accident,” says Nazzal.

Nazzal’s exhibition “Invisible,” on view at the Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa’s City Hall, was at the centre of debate last year after conservative politicians and the Israeli ambassador Rafael Barak called for its removal. (Diana Nemiroff wrote about the controversy, and the importance of protecting art within the public realm, last year for Canadian Art.)

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Miklos Legrady says:

A camera with a long lens looks a lot like a gun and is aimed the same way. The sniper must have thought she was about to fire a weapon. Wikileaks revealed a video of U.S. air force helicopters attacking a van because they mistook a telephoto lens for a gun.

Steve Bates says:

But she describes taking pictures over a matter of time and in various positions moving down a street – with no shots being fired at the IDF. Surely the sniper, an expert, and well-trained soldier, would have been watching her for some time before shooting her to observe what she had been up to. Not buying the ‘camera looks like a gun’ on this one. A helicopter flying around overhead while attacking a van is nowhere near the same situation as a sniper – not under attack – and safely observing a situation, but still firing a round into a photographer.

Simon Ibrahim says:

Keep up the good work, Rihab. Get well soon!

Abdulla says:

Where can I find the photos that Ms. Rehab took?

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