2008. április 21., hétfő

War and Conflict News

Israeli troops
may have targeted Gaza newsman: watchdog

Agence France-Presse | Apr 21, 2008

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian cameraman killed by tank fire in the Gaza Strip along with five other civilians this week may have been deliberately targeted by Israeli forces, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.

A múlt héten a Gaza-i övezetben harckocsi által meggyilkolt, a REUTERS-nek dolgozó, kameraman és 5 másik civil szándékosan célba lettek véve az izraeli erők által, jelentette ki vasárnap a Human Rights Watch

The group said its on-site investigation of Wednesday's death of Fadel Shana, 23, indicated an Israeli tank crew fired "recklessly or deliberately" at the Reuters news agency cameraman and his soundman.
"Israeli soldiers did not make sure they were aiming at a military target before firing, and there is evidence suggesting they actually targeted the journalists," HRW's Middle East director, Joe Stork, said in a statement.

According to witnesses and footage taken from Shana's own camera, there was no military activity by Palestinian militants at the scene of the attack, the HRW report said.

Tanúk és más tárgyi bizonyítékok (a kameraman Fadel Shana -élt 23 évet- által -a halála előtt- rögzített anyag) erősítik azt a tényt, hogy a támadás helyszínén a palesztin ellenállás harcosai nem folytatták harci tevékenységet.

The Israeli military announced that it was opening an inquiry into Shana's death but strongly denied that the camera crew had been deliberately targeted.

"The cameraman was in a combat zone at a time when our forces were coming under fire," a spokeswoman said.

Az izraeli megszállok egyik nő szóvivője kijelentette, hogy: "A kameraman harci tevékenység övezetében tartózkodott mikor csapataink ellenséges tűz alá kerültek" ugyanakkor tagadta, hogy a forgató csoport szándékosan célba lett volna véve.
"Allegations that the Israeli army targeted the journalist are completely baseless. The IDF (Israel Defence Force) makes every effort to avoid casualties among those not implicated in acts of violence.

"The results of the inquiry will be submitted to the IDF attorney general," she said, adding that this was standard procedure in the case of deaths of civilians.

Shana was travelling in a pickup truck with his soundman Wafa Abu Mizyed, who told HRW that they had passed by an Israeli tank on a hilltop and then stopped to film the surrounding area.

Shana, wearing a flak jacket marked "Press" in large letters, "set up his camera and the tripod and asked me to push away some children who had gathered around us," Abu Mizyed told HRW, adding that there was no shooting in the area at the time.

Then he said he heard "a sound like 'boof'... I looked towards Fadel and found him lying on the ground and repeating the Shehada," he said using the Arabic term for the Muslim declaration of faith.

Three civilians were also killed, including two teenage boys on a bicycle, at the same time as the journalist. On Sunday, two more teenage boys wounded in the attack died of their injuries, medics said.

Abu Mizyed, whose hands were injured, said he ran towards the main road looking for help.

Shana's footage showed an Israeli tank firing a shell just before the camera went black. Others journalists who arrived at the scene shortly after the shelling also said they came under tank fire.

"The Reuters truck was clearly marked 'TV' and 'Press' and drove by the tank twice, so it's hard to believe the Israeli tank crew didn't see the pickup contained only journalists," Stork said.

Shana was covering clashes that killed 17 other Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers the day he died.

Throughout the day, Israeli troops were in the area "conducting searches and they were under fire the whole time," an army spokeswoman told AFP, disputing reports that Palestinian militants were not active at the scene.

The rights group also called on Israel to stop using flechette shells, the controversial weapon that reportedly killed Shana.

The shells explode in the air, releasing thousands of metal darts, and are widely condemned by rights groups which say they indiscriminately kill civilians, particularly in Gaza, one of the world's most densely populated areas.

In October 2002, Physicians for Human Rights went to Israel's High Court seeking to outlaw the use of flechette shells against Palestinians but the court upheld the continued use of the weapon.

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