Fadel Shana is killed again.

Or at least that is what the Israeli report into the matter of his death amounted to.  The soldiers who murdered him are excused as apparently, “the decision to authorise the shot was reasonable given the circumstances of the incident,” according to the Israeli military.


Israeli forces have “cleared” the Israeli soldiers involved in the murder of any “wrong-doing,” saying to the Israeli press that the cameraman was mistaken for a member of the armed resistance.

There are numerous eyewitnesses who have attested to the contrary, and even the Israeli Foreign Press Association fears that this decision will lead to more attacks on journalists, as reported on Wednesday by the Israeli press.

The Reuters News Agency is horrified at this “hideous” act. Numerous Palestinian, foreign and Israeli journalists have been the targets of Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Several have been imprisoned, many injured, some deported, and others killed.

The soldiers who killed Shana will not face any legal repercussions in the Israeli courts. However, lawyers specializing in international humanitarian law could take those soldiers and their commanders to The Hague for war crimes.

The Israeli military position is that the soldiers could not see the difference between a camera’s tripod and a weapon. However, as has been stated by many from the past through the present, “the pen is mightier than the sword.”

The Reuters car was also fired upon, although it was well marked with signs reading “press.”

Reuters said on Wednesday that it is “severely disturbed,” and that “this result severely restricts the freedom of the media in covering the conflict when [journalists] are fired at by the soldiers to kill people virtually without ascertaining whether or not they are opening fire on journalists.”


This is a clear case of getting away with murder.  In case you missed the story, here’s the facts in the case of the murder of the young Reuters cameraman from Reuters itself:

— Fadel Shana, 24, was killed by several darts, known as flechettes, which burst from a shell fired by an Israeli tank on April 16 about 5:30 p.m. The tank firing and shell bursting were the final images on tape before Shana’s camera was destroyed.

— Eight other civilians aged between 12 and 20 were killed, six of them aged under 16. At least seven other bystanders aged from 10 to 18 were also hit. None was armed or was a militant. Reuters soundman Wafa Abu Mizyed, 25, was wounded in the wrist.

— Shana and Abu Mizyed were wearing blue body armour marked “PRESS” and stood next to a car bearing “TV” and “PRESS” signs in the middle of a country road some 100 meters southeast of Gaza’s main highway. Two Merkava-4 main battle tanks stood on a ridge about 1.5 km (a mile) to the southeast, facing northwest.

— In the preceding half hour, the Reuters crew had driven past a point 700 meters from the tanks, filmed the aftermath of an Israeli air strike that killed several children and returned by the same route. Shana stopped, set up his tripod and filmed a panorama of the area, including the tanks, for several minutes.

— Twenty or more children, some on bicycles, were present between Shana and the main Gaza highway 100 meters behind him.

— An Israeli observation drone was circling over the area.

— A tank fired a flechette shell, typically containing 5,000 1.5-inch (3.75-mm) metal darts. Their purpose is to kill over an area 300 meters wide. In 2003, Israel’s Supreme Court said that under IDF rules “use of the flechette is restricted to areas in which the danger to innocent civilians is not actual”.

— Soundman Abu Mizyed recalls being hit by flechettes from two separate shells and then heard a third shell destroy the Reuters car. Another witness also said he thought three shells were fired. Two ambulance drivers heard only two blasts. The Israeli army said it fired only one flechette shell followed by a shell of a different type that destroyed the Reuters car.

— Journalists who arrived filmed that explosion at 5:40 p.m. It set Shana’s car on fire and it later burnt out.

And here is the position of Reuters on Israeli assertions that Shana was not adequately identifiable or inferences that he was acting irresponsibly:

Reuters believes the soldiers did not have reasonable grounds to use lethal force without warning. It believes the army, despite assertions to the contrary, was in clear breach of its duty under international law to avoid harm to civilians.

Reuters and media rights groups believe the army action and its apparent policy curbs media freedom by rendering it too dangerous to use a camera in the presence of Israeli troops.

Reuters is examining options for legal action and is seeking urgent consultations in Israel to address journalists safety.

A report conducted for Reuters by independent security advisers concluded: “(Shana) had a professional attitude to safety and had taken all reasonable precautions … He complied with Reuters’ own safety policy and his actions can not be interpreted as irresponsible or negligent in any way.”



2 Responses to “Fadel Shana is killed again.”

  1. 1 Propaganda_Watcher August 19, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Yes, it’s not good that journalist Fadel Shana is killed in a War Zone. Yes, it’s questionable that Israel’s technology within their Tanks could probably have adequately determined it was a camera instead of a rocket launcher… But is it possible that the Fadel Shana’s journalistic integrity may be compromised when he willingly participates in Hezbollah propaganda?

    See the link and review the pictures pertaining to an injury Fadel Shana sustained in the Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006. They speak for themselves.


  2. 2 theradicalmormon August 19, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    If the allegations on the link you provide are true, then Shana did indeed participate in propaganda. However, how much harm was done by his propaganda, compared to the propaganda of the Israelis through which they murdered over a thousand people in Lebanon in 2006, including the massacre they undertook in Qana? If we are to look at things in a balanced manner, the propaganda of Hezbollah is hardly a blip on the radar compared to the propaganda of the real powers of the world such as Israel and the USA. If you are a propaganda watcher you should look at the recent propaganda of the Russian/Georgian conflict with some huge whoppers told by the US government and media.

    As for Shana, he was murdered by Israeli soldiers. Any crime by Shana purported in the link above, is not even close to the crime of murder that Israel engages in on a regular basis.

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