Last Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014, 14:18 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2008 - Motive Confirmed: Fadel Shana

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2009
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2008 - Motive Confirmed: Fadel Shana, January 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e64965f23.html [accessed 31 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Reuters
April 16, 2008, in Gaza Strip, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Cameraman Shana, 23, was killed and soundman Wafa Abu Mizyed was wounded after they stopped their vehicle to film Israeli military forces several hundred feet away, Reuters reported. Shana was using a tripod-mounted camera when an Israeli tank fired on the men. Eight other bystanders, most under the age of 16, were killed.

The Reuters cameraman was wearing a flak jacket marked "Press" and had gotten out of a sport-utility vehicle bearing the markings "TV." A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Reuters: "In our operations we try to be as surgical as possible and make every effort not to see innocent people caught up in the fighting."

The Israeli military's subsequent investigation exonerated the soldiers responsible for the killing, saying that they had acted reasonably. "The tank crew was unable to determine the nature of the object mounted on the tripod and positively identify it as an antitank missile, a mortar, or a television camera," wrote the advocate general, Brig. Gen. Avihai Mendelblit.

Writing in CPJ's magazine Dangerous Assignments, Reuters Bureau Chief Alastair Macdonald responded: "To reach that 'reasonable' decision, the troops failed to note 'TV' signs plastered over his jeep as it drove, twice, along the road they were monitoring through high-tech sights during the preceding half-hour; they affirmed—questionably—that Fadel's body armor was 'common to Palestinian terrorists;' they failed to find the fact he stood in front of them, a mile away, for four minutes an indication that he was not a threat; and they did not consider the 20-odd children playing behind him."

Reuters and CPJ called for an independent investigation into the killing of Shana, saying that the military's conclusion left numerous questions unanswered.

Medium:Television
Job:Camera Operator
Beats Covered:War
Gender:Male
Local or Foreign:Local
Freelance:No
Type of Death:Crossfire/Combat-Related
Suspected Source of Fire:Military Officials

 

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