Tanya Habjouqa is a renowned photographer, recipient of a Magnum Foundation grant and a founder of Rawiya, the first all-female photo collective in the Middle East. On 15 May, as she was photographing the on-going protests in the West Bank, she was hit in the thigh by a rubber bullet shot by an Israeli soldier.

Tomorrow There Will be Apricots (2017), Tanya Habjouqa Tomorrow There Will be Apricots (2017), Tanya Habjouqa. Courtesy Tanya Habjouqa.

Habjouqa told The Art Newspaper she stood 40m away from the action, and was clearly unarmed. “I was on the side at the beginning of the protest with cameras around my neck, so I feel I was definitely targeted though thankfully they chose not to aim for my head,” Habjouqa reported. “It hurts like hell and the bruise is spreading front and back.”

Occupied Pleasures (2013), Tanya Habjouqa Occupied Pleasures (2013), Tanya Habjouqa. Courtesy East Wing.

Rubber bullets can cause fatal injuries if they hit an artery. In 2002, the Palestinian photojournalist Imad Abu Zahra died following a shot to his thigh coming from an Israeli armoured vehicle. The International Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) documented on 14 May that seven Palestinian journalists were injured by Israeli gunfire while covering that day’s demonstrations.

Fragile Monsters, Tanya Habjouqa Fragile Monsters, Tanya Habjouqa. Courtesy Tanya Habjouqa.

14 May is celebrated in Israel as the 70th anniversary of its independence day, while on 15 May Palestinians commemorate the “nakba”, or “catastrophe of displacement”. The protests arose over Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their pre-1948 homes, and the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

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