Letter to Israeli general about decision not to prosecute soldiers who killed Palestinian cameraman

first_img to go further August 21, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Letter to Israeli general about decision not to prosecute soldiers who killed Palestinian cameraman May 28, 2021 Find out more May 16, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders has written to Brig. Gen. Avihai Mandelblit, military advocate general of the Israel Defence Forces, voicing concern about his decision not to prosecute the soldiers responsible for the death of Palestinian cameraman Fadel Shanaa in the Gaza Strip last April.The letter, sent on 18 August, says: “The recently-released findings of the Israeli investigation into the death of Fadel Shanaa, a Palestinian cameraman employed by the British news agency Reuters, absolved those who fired the fatal shot of any responsibility. However, we agree with Reuters that many aspects of this case were not addressed.“The behaviour of Mr. Shanaa and his assistant, Wafa Abu Mizyed, should not have caused any confusion. Their car was clearly marked as a press vehicle. Their flak jackets also had the word ‘Press’ written on them. As Reuters Middle East managing editor Mark Thompson points out, the tripod they were using was much higher than the kind of tripod used to fire mortars.“Furthermore, the two journalists were in an open area opposite the Israeli positions and made no attempt to conceal themselves. The young civilians who were nearby were also put in danger. In all, nine civilians were killed by the steel flechettes released by the Israeli shell fired at the Reuters crew. We take this opportunity to reiterate our opposition to the use of this kind of weapon, which is liable to wound and kill non-combatants.“Mr. Shanaa’s death and the flaws in the investigation carried out by your department call into question the progress made by the Israel Defence Forces in their efforts to avoid endangering civilians, including journalists, who are our particular concern. A Reporters Without Borders team went to Israel in December 2006 to discuss these issues with IDF representatives. “They told us that many measures had been taken to improve the safety of journalists in combat situations in the field, including training soldiers and their superiors on the behaviour to adopt with the press. We continue to support these preventive measures.“But when serious lapses take place, as they did on 16 April, sanctions must be adopted, if only in order to avoid any recurrence. The absence of any prosecutions will have only one result – it will reinforce a feeling of impunity with the IDF.”Five journalists have been killed by IDF personnel in the Palestinian Territories in the past 10 years. The family of British independent filmmaker James Miller, who was killed in Rafah (in the Gaza Strip) in May 2003, continue to campaign for justice. After an 18-month investigation, the IDF decided in 2005 not to prosecute the officer suspected of firing on Miller. His family decided to file a suit before the Israeli civilian courts. A trial was due to open on 13 May of this year but was adjourned twice. A hearing is now scheduled for September. “Yet again we have been let down by the Israeli judicial system,” the family said after the second postponement. “This adjournment reinforces our fear that the Israeli government and courts will continue to string us along. We are more determined than ever to pursue them for justice for James.” IsraelMiddle East – North Africa Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists June 3, 2021 Find out more News RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts IsraelMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en Follow the news on Israel News Organisation Reporters Without Borders has written to Brig. Gen. Avihai Mandelblit, military advocate general of the Israel Defence Forces, voicing concern about his decision not to prosecute the soldiers responsible for the death of Palestinian cameraman Fadel Shanaa in the Gaza Strip last April.“Mr. Shanaa’s death and the flaws in the investigation carried out by your department call into question the progress made by the Israel Defence Forces in their efforts to avoid endangering civilians,” said the organisation. WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists News Newslast_img read more