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Israel: Killing Cameraman Was Justified

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posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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Israel: Killing Cameraman Was Justified


washingtonbureau.typepad.com



Israeli Army Kills Reuters Cameraman in Gaza


August 14, 2008

Four months after an Israeli tank opened fire on a Reuters crew in Gaza stationed a mile away from the tank's position, the Israeli military has cleared itself of any wrongdoing in the chilling incident in which Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana captured his own impending death on film.
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 16-8-2008 by GoldenFleece]




posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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Even after being caught on tape and broadcast worldwide, is there any surprise here?


In a letter to Reuters, Israeli Brig. Gen. Avihai Mendelblit said that the tank crew reached the "reasonable" conclusion that Shana and his soundman were "hostile" and that the camera mounted on a tripod for several minutes was "most likely" a weapon of some sort.

The contorted Israeli military conclusion drew sharp retorts from Reuters, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Foreign Press Association in Israel.

"Reuters is deeply disturbed by a conclusion that would severely curtail the freedom of the media to cover the conflict by effectively giving soldiers a free hand to kill without being sure that they were not firing on journalists," the company said in its response to the Israeli decision to close the case without taking any action against the tank crew.

"I'm extremely disappointed that this report condones a disproportionate use of deadly force in a situation the army itself admitted had not been analyzed clearly.” said Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger. "They would appear to take the view that any raising of a camera into position could garner a deadly response."

"These findings mean that a journalist with a camera is at risk of coming under fire and there's not that much that can be done," said Joel Campagna of the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York. "That's unacceptable. It's difficult to believe ... that the IDF took the necessary precautions to avoid causing harm to civilians -- as it is obliged to do under international law."

No journalist working in a war zone expects soldiers to take unnecessary risks in dangerous situations.

But the video, a Reuters investigation, and eyewitnesses all made it clear in this case that Shana and the Reuters crew posed no immediate danger to the tank crew, which was stationed on a hill a mile away.

Here is one particularly relevant factoid worth considering: Palestinian militants in Gaza have never used a serious anti-tank weapon with the range capable of hitting a target from a mile away.

That means that, even if Shana was preparing to fire a weapon, the Israeli soldiers should have known that they weren't facing any real danger.

The Israeli general said that the soldiers weren't able to determine if the item mounted on the tripod was a mortar, a camera or an anti-tank missile. For that reason, they opened fire.

If Israeli soldiers can't distinguish a mortar tube from a mounted camera, their training is sorely lacking.

One would expect that Israeli soldiers fighting in Gaza would have precise information on the risks they are facing, what weapons might be used against them, and what they need to do to protect themselves.

In this case, there is little to support the Israeli military conclusion that the tank crew made a reasonable determination that the Reuters crew was hostile and preparing to fire a weapon capable of doing any serious damage.

Fadel was on a road a mile away from the tank, he was driving a car with "TV" written on the side, he was wearing a flak jacket clearly marked with a "press" sticker, he had been filming for several minutes and was not working in an area of active fighting.

Though the Israeli conclusion drew criticism from journalist groups, the finding was hardly surprising.

Israel rarely takes action against soldiers in such cases. In this case, since the incident was captured on film, there was some reason to believe that the Israeli military would have a difficult time coming up with an excuse to clear its soldiers of any wrongdoing.

It took them four months, but they managed to do just that.


washingtonbureau.typepad.com
(visit the link for the full news article)


[edit on 16-8-2008 by GoldenFleece]



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:13 PM
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ya know, I hear all the time abouthow Israel is evil nd hurts innocent people and causes problems with their neighbors. guess we can add this to the long list of bad things from there. How is it no government is ever at fault for killing innocent people?



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:13 PM
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Everyone knew this was coming. Few points that seem to be forgotten:

1) They had been shooting a panorama of the area for several minutes. If they thought it was a rpg why did they wait so long to engage?

2) They had been filming around the same area before and were monitored by the IDF all along.

3) There was a UAV monitoring them too.

IDF is a bunch of goons.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 02:33 PM
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This is just another means of scaring away news reports from covering what they do to the Palestinians. My bet is that it worked.

This isn't the first time Israel has attacked reporters and this won't be the last.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by Finn1916
 


We get outraged when life is treated like filth. None of us have the right to ruin anothers life; our freedom is taken away if we do, and rightly so.

However, government does not care about its people. As a human, you are an expendable tool, a budgetary statistic...an acceptable loss..

Our mistake is to think that government gives a # about any of us at all.

They would run over your daughter and sue her corpse for denting the car.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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Government = A Monopoly on Violence

For this reason they are never held accountable to the degree as citizens of nations are. I agree this was to discourage filming of the conflict. The same is happening to a degree in the US. Cops now frequently act like they can tell anyone with a camera to shut it off and stop filming. As soon as you do though they start in with the thuggery. IMHO all government, military and police need to have cameras trained on them during all of their operations that are supposed to be in the be in the public's interest. Cameras rolling 24/7 and you tube and discussed.

How many times have cops that have crossed the line been outed on you tube now? Many and growing. The same should go for these conflict zones. More of the common folk need to have cameras handed to them and they need to be less conspicuous so the IDF in this instance does not even notice them until they see the footage on the news or youtube.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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Ok, there are goons in Israeli army, seen some myself. Not more then in other armies however.
But there is a danger to journalists in hot spots. It does not mean they should be shoot at, just that they could be shot at. How many journalists died in Georgia-Russia war? It was more intense, but it was just for less then a week. Here conflict goes on for more then decade. How many died in Iraq? In Chechnya? So it is hot spot here, with a lot of exposure - meaning a lot of journalists (more then were in current Georgian conflict) - and some might be hurt. Just to remind you - in the same day 3 soldiers were killed so there was intense fighting in the region.



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