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Slain Gaza reporter Israel says was a Hamas member had been vetted by USAID

The US State Department says the media production company co-founded by slain Gaza journalist Yasser Murtaja had recently been awarded an $11,700 grant from the US government.

Murtaja was shot Friday while covering a mass demonstration near the Israeli border. He was carrying a video camera and wearing a flak jacket marked with the word “press” when he was shot.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Murtaja was a Hamas member.

Murtaja’s company, Ain Media, became a USAID program beneficiary last month under a program that supports private sector development.

The State Department said Tuesday the grant was still in its early stages, and no equipment or technical assistance has been provided. It said the grant was vetted according to strict US government requirements of USAID-funded assistance.

— AP

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