I’m pretty jaded when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the depths of depravity to which it often sinks. But why, in heaven’s name would the IAF fire a missile at a clearly marked journalist’s jeep, killing him while wounding innocent civilians?
Fadel Shana, 23, a cameraman for Reuters, was killed when a missile struck his clearly marked jeep in the area, Reuters’ Gaza bureau said.
Asked about the many civilian casualties, Maj. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli Army spokeswoman, said the military had struck an armed group. “It could be that civilians were nearby; it would not be the first time,” she said.
Major Leibovich said that if a cameraman had been killed, “we apologize for that.”
“It was not intentional,” she said, adding that journalists took a risk by operating in fighting zones.
In the accompanying picture you see the cameraman’s vehicle clearly marked (“TV”) and the wounded civilians. Where is the “armed group” that the IDF struck? I realize the spokesperson wasn’t there and is probably talking out of her ass, but this is so clearly mendacious as to be almost laughable (in a very dark sort of way). [UPDATE: Reuters makes clear that he was killed by a tank shell and not a missile, which changes the complexion of some of the things I wrote above. It is more difficult to tell from inside a tank what you’re shooting at.]
Why would Israel want to kill journalists? Clearly, they would prefer no journalists cover Gaza as they’ve prevented their own Israeli journalists from doing so as Gideon Levy often laments in Haaretz. But killing them? Why are the lives of journalists as cheap as the lives of Palestinian civilians to the IDF? I realize I’m asking a rhetorical question. But I’d still like to know the answer.
The IDF lost three of its own in a firefight with Hamas militants yesterday, one of the largest losses of Israeli life I can remember in Gaza. The army must be seething. I guess it’s easier to kill an unarmed TV cameraman than it is to find and liquidate the gunmen who killed those Israeli boys. But isn’t taking it out on the media going a bit far?
In a related matter, Haaretz reports that one of the three IDF soldiers who died, a Bedouin, is slated to have the home he just built for his new bride demolished since Israel refuses to provide building permits for Bedouin. Let’s add insult to injury why don’t we? He can die for his country. He just can’t live in his own home.