A British filmmaker shot dead in Rafah by Israeli army soldiers was murdered, a
James Miller, 34 and a father of two young children, was shot in the neck by a soldier in Rafah in the southern part of the Gaza Strip in May 2003 while filming a documentary about the impact of violence on children in the region.
On the other hand, a British military expert asserted on Wednesday that the murder of Miller was a crime committed by an Israeli soldier in cold blood.
Chris Cobb-Smith, , a former British army officer and UN weapons inspector, said that shots were not fired by a soldier who was frightened, not fired by a soldier facing incoming fire, but were slow, deliberate, calculated and aimed shots.
"My conclusion is this was calculated and cold-blooded murder, without a shadow of a doubt," Cobb-Smith, who investigated Miller’s death in
He further explained that Miller and his colleagues would have been visible to the Israeli soldiers, who had night vision goggles. The sky was cloudless, the moon was shining and electric lights were shining from nearby houses.
An Israeli spokesman said, commenting on Millers killing, that he was caught in an exchange of fire with Palestinians.
Miller appears in a footage taken by their colleague carrying a white flag, and Millers comrades can be heard informing the soldiers that they are international journalists. Two bullets were fired, one of which fatally hit Miller.
His colleague and an eyewitness to the murder, Dan Edge, told the jury that they were trying to leave a Palestinian house at night, holding a white flag with a torch shone on it, clad in body armor and helmets with the letters "TV" written on it in fluorescent tape.
On its part, the Israeli government refused to cooperate with the inquest jury, which will continue today.
"After a very thorough investigation using laboratories in and abroad and after reviewing all the available evidence, it was not possible to reach a reliable conclusion that could provide a basis for proceedings under criminal law," the Israeli embassy in
Miller’s family said it will sue the Israeli army for compensation through Israeli civil courts accusing the Israeli forces of covering up of the perpetrators.
Israeli army killed two other internationals within a three-month span in Rafah in 2003. Rachel Corrie, an American student and Tom Hurndall a British journalism student were killed as they were protecting Palestinian civilians in the Rafah area.