The Al Mezan Center For Human Rights issued a report on Thursday slamming the ongoing Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people and the targeting of reporters in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Center said that the army killed on Wednesday reporter Fadel Shana’a, 23, in addition to killing 13 residents, including eight children.
An investigation carried by the Center revealed that as reporters headed to Juhr Al Deek village in the Gaza Strip while the army was invading it, they stopped on the main road which leads to the area, north of Wadi Gaza.
Several reporters stated that Shana’a and his assistant Wafa’ Abu Mizyid, 25, both working for Reuters, stopped at the entrance of the village and tried to film Israeli tanks invading it.
Shortly after that, the army fired a tank shell at them killing Shana’a and three other civilians, including two children.
Reporter Mohammad Al Baba of the French Press Agency, stated that Shana’a was hit by the shell, and that he was only 100 meters away from other reporters.
Al Baba added that three civilians, including two children, were walking near the Reuters vehicle and were also killed by the blast. The three were identified as Ghassan Abu Otewy, 17, Ahmad Farajallah, 17, and Khalil Daghmash, 21.
It is worth mentioning that Shana’a escaped with some injuries, a previous attack when the army shelled a Reuters jeep on August 27, 2006.
With his death on Wednesday, the number of reporters who were killed by the Israeli army since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada in late September 200, arrives to 10, and more than 150 were injured.
The Al Mezan Center expressed its solidarity with the family of Shana’a, Reuters, and all reporters, and slammed this crime which aims at barring the media from reporting on Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
The Center said that it believes that the army deliberately killed Shana’a as soldiers fired the first shell at the reporters and followed it with another shell only five minutes later.
The Center also stated that the Reuters vehicle was clearly marked a “Press” and Shana’a was wearing a protective vest with a clear Press sigh on it, and that the attack was carried out in an open area in broad daylight.
The Al Mezan Center added that this crime violates Article number 19 of the International Declaration of Human Rights and the international agreements regarding protecting civilians and reporters.
The Center also said that article number 79 of the Furth Geneva Conventions calls for protecting the reporters in times of war as they are considered civilians who should not be harmed.
The Al Mezan Center also called on the International Community to intervene for the protecting of the Palestinian Civilians and reporters in the occupied Palestinian Territories and called on the International Federation of Journalists to practice pressure on the international level in order to guarantees the protection of reporters and prosecute the soldiers who are committing war crimes.