The story of five journalists killed covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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The death this week of Shirin Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who was shot dead during an Israeli operation in the West Bank town of Jenin, highlights the dangers journalists face in covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abu Akleh, a veteran reporter who worked for the Al Jazeera News Network, wore protective gear and a vest marked “Press” while covering the campaign on Wednesday morning. This type of gear is standard and to distinguish journalists from the crowd and fighters indicates to all parties that they should not be targeted.

But a military spokesman said in an interview with Israeli Army Radio on Wednesday that Abu Akleh and his colleagues were “filming and working for a media outlet among the armed Palestinians.”

“They’re equipped with cameras, if you allow me to say that,” the brigadier said. General Run Kochav.

For Palestinian journalists, a colleague died near his home

At least 19 journalists have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories since 1992, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Among the dead were 17 Palestinians who suffered casualties in Israeli military violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Many other reporters, photographers and video journalists were injured in missile strikes, live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas and physical clashes.

The story of the five journalists killed is highlighted here.

Shirin Abu Akleh, 51, was a family name in the Arab world for fearless reports from his base in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. But he was killed Wednesday morning in Jenin by an Israeli sniper, according to Palestinian officials and eyewitnesses.

Israeli military He initially suggested that Palestinian militants were responsible for his death – but later said that an investigation was under way into whether the bullet that killed him was fired by Israeli forces. Al Jazeera has accused Israel of directly targeting him in “cold blood.”

Israel, in turn, is investigating the possibility of IDF troops killing an American journalist

Witnesses told the Washington Post that there were no clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen when Abu Akleh was shot. Following the wave of Palestinian attacks inside Israel, Israeli forces have conducted repeated raids on Jenin in recent weeks.

Abu Akleh has been reporting for Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language news channel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem for more than two decades. Her career has inspired a generation of Palestinian women to become journalists, colleagues say. During the second Palestinian intifada in the early 2000s, Abu Akleh remained in Jenin after Israeli forces recaptured the city from Palestinian fighters and restricted press access.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday that “officials must be held accountable.” The Israeli Foreign Press Association has called for “full transparency” in Israel’s investigation into his death “due to the weak record of the Israeli security forces in investigating violence against journalists”.

But human rights groups have also called for an independent inquiry. Al-Haq, a Ramallah-based Palestinian human rights group, has called on the International Criminal Court to include Abu Akleh’s case as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.

Al-Haq accused Israel of acting “with full impunity and without taking firm action to hold the Israeli authorities accountable.”

Amnesty International, joining other human rights groups, says Israel is “committing a crime of racism”

Yasser Mortaza was a cameraman and photojournalist who co-founded a media production company in his local Gaza Strip. At age 30, he never traveled outside the small coastal enclave, which is ruled by Hamas and under Israeli-led siege.

An Israeli sniper shot and killed Murtaza in April 2018 while he was covering large protests on the Gaza border with Israel. Like Abu Akleh, Murtaza wore a press vest when he was shot.

During the weekly protests, more than 200 Palestinians were killed and more than 36,000 injured, according to the United Nations.

In an initial statement after Mortaza’s death, the Israeli military said it had not targeted journalists. The then Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman then alleged that Murtaza was a member of Hamas’s military wing – an allegation denied by his colleagues.

Just a month before his assassination, the U.S. Agency for International Development provided a grant to Murtaza’s company and stated that it The standard applicant verification process No links were found for the militants. In 2015, Hamas authorities – who also press the press – arrested and beat Murtaza for filming in an area without permission.

Simon Camille, 35, was an Italian photojournalist for the Associated Press. He died in August 2014 while on duty in the Gaza Strip.

He was taking pictures of local police as they defused unexploded ordnance from the war between Israel and Hamas when an unexpected explosion occurred. Camille’s Palestinian interpreter was also killed in the blast, which seriously injured another AP photographer.

He is the only foreign journalist to die in the conflict, which lasted from early July to late August. According to the United Nations, more than 2,200 Palestinians, 63 Israelis and one Thai were killed.

Camille has spent nearly a decade covering major stories across Europe and the Middle East for the AP. According to his colleagues, he was particularly keen on covering Gaza. The AP describes him as “a full-fledged storyteller – an enthusiastic, talented reporter with a detailed vision and the ability to report events with powerful video images that have touched people around the world.”

The sound of war on the deadliest night of the Israeli-Gaza conflict

Fadel Shana, 23, was a Palestinian cameraman for Reuters. He was killed in Gaza in 2008 when an Israeli tank opened fire on him and his film crew.

The tank and its ruptured shell were the last images captured from his camera, mounted on a tripod. Eight more civilians were killed in the attack.

Shana wore a blue body armor that identified her as the press and traveled in a car marked “TV”. The Israeli military has expressed “regret” for his killing but told Reuters that its forces were facing “an ongoing battle against armed, extremist and dangerous terrorist organizations” in the area. On the same day, 18 more Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza.

Four months later, an Israeli investigation released its troops, concluding that they were “unable to determine the nature of the object placed on the tripod and positively identify it as an anti-tank missile, a mortar or a television camera.”

Reuters rejected the results and demanded an independent investigation. Israel has “clearly violated its duty under international law to avoid harm to civilians,” the agency said in a statement. “Reuters and media rights groups believe that the military’s actions and its apparent policy impede the freedom of the media by rendering the use of cameras in the presence of Israeli troops very dangerous.”

James Miller, a British freelance journalist, was shot and killed on May 35, 2003, while filming a documentary in Gaza. As Miller and his crew were trying to leave the house of a subject, colleagues and eyewitnesses reported that an Israeli tank fired. Earlier in the day, Israel destroyed homes in the area against Hamas’s alleged tunnel connecting Gaza and Egypt.

Miller and his crew were wearing protective clothing and were identified as journalists. Colleagues said they had indicated to Israeli forces that they planned to leave if he was shot.

The Israeli military has denied responsibility for the killings, saying Miller was killed in a crossfire. The Israeli investigation later released the troops involved. Miller’s family has rejected the Israeli investigation and called for an independent investigation. In 2006, a court in St. Pancras Corona, London, ruled that Miller had been killed intentionally, based on the findings of a personal investigator hired by Miller’s family shortly after his death.

No one in Israel has been charged.


An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that the Israeli military had immediately denied responsibility for the death of Shirin Abu Akleh. In his first statement to reporters on Wednesday, the military spokesman’s office said that the Israeli Defense Forces were “investigating the incident and that journalists were looking into the possibility of being attacked by Palestinian gunmen.” The article has been revised.

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