Ai Weiwei

Israel says slain journalist was a Hamas spy, but U.S. had just approved a grant for his company.

Israel says slain journalist was a Hamas spy, but U.S. had just approved a grant for his company.

Israel's defense minister said Tuesday that a Palestinian journalist who was shot dead by Israeli troops on the Israeli-Gaza border was a Hamas operative, although the media production company he founded had recently been vetted for a U.S. government grant.

Yaser Murtaja, the co-founder of Ain Media, was shot as he filmed protests at the border fence on Friday.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Murtaja, who used drones to film in the course of his work, was giving drone footage of Israeli positions to Hamas, was the equivalent of a captain in the group's military wing and had been on its payroll since 2011. He did not provide evidence for the assertions.

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