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In Gaza, Israeli missile strikes Reuters vehicle and wounds two

The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the apparent targeting of two Palestinian cameramen by Israeli forces in Gaza City late Saturday. A missile struck their armored car in the densely populated Shijaiyah neighborhood, seriously wounding Fadel Shana, a freelance cameraman for Reuters, and Sabbah Hmaida, a cameraman with a private Palestinian TV facilities house, Media Group. Reuters said the vehicle was clearly marked “Press” on all sides. The missile struck the letter “P” of the bright red “Press” sign on the car’s roof, the news agency added. Shana lost consciousness for several hours and suffered shrapnel wounds in his right hand and leg, Reuters reported. Hmaida sustained serious leg wounds from shrapnel. 

Lebanese who cannot return home fear being forgotten

Jamila Mehanna joined the rush back to her village in south Lebanon the moment the shooting stopped. Two weeks later she is living with other displaced Lebanese in a public building in Sidon, not sure when she will again be in her own house. “After the ceasefire came into effect, I went immediately with my kids to check out the house. I found the Israeli tanks at the outskirts of the village and so I turned around. I prefer to wait for the Lebanese army to take control before I go home,” she said. Amid the emphasis on getting daily convoys of UNHCR aid into battered villages and the return of most Lebanese to their homes, victims of the war like Jamila fear they could be forgotten by the refugee agency and other organisations. 

OCHA: Unexploded ordnances the most urgent threat

The Government of Lebanon’s (GOL) Higher Relief Council (HRC) reports to date that 1,187 Lebanese have been killed and approximately 4,060 injured. Unexploded ordnances, particularly cluster munitions, remains the most urgent threat to the beneficiaries and humanitarian workers. 12 people have been killed and 51 wounded by UXO and cluster bombs since 14 August. The Mine Action Coordination Centre has thus far 249 strike locations, a figure which is expected to rise. Demining activities are ongoing by the Lebanese army in Nabatieh, clearing residential areas such as Zawtar and by UNMACC in Yohmor, Smayieh, Ras Al Ain, Tebnine and Aita Al Jabal in South Lebanon. 

At home with unexploded bombs

Fifteen-year-old Ali Al-Hady begs his father to let him into his room, which was hit by four Israeli missiles during the 34-day conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. His father says it’s just too dangerous. “My father wouldn’t let me inside my bedroom because he suspected some cluster bombs were still under the rubble after he found an unexploded missile in the backyard and cluster bombs in our neighbour’s garden,” Ali told IRIN. He wanted to salvage some of his books and notes, left behind when he and his family fled their home in Kfarkila, 90km south of Beirut and adjacent to the Israel-Lebanon border. They went 20km north-east to Hasbaya, where they stayed with relatives. 

Children strive to overcome trauma of war

The United Nations children’s fund (UNICEF), together with other NGOs, is setting up children’s activity centres in Nabatiyeh, 80km south of the capital, and in the port city of Tyre, 90km south of Beirut,to recreate a semblance of normalcy for children in Lebanon. Teams of travelling entertainers will be sent out to villages around the towns to organise similar activities. More than a third of the Lebanese killed in the 34-day conflict with Israel were children, according to UNICEF. “The degree to which children have been affected varies from one child to another,” said Ola Attia, a Beirut-based clinical psychiatrist, who does voluntary work with local NGO Samidoun in the south. 

Abducted Fox News journalists freed, Israeli air strike on Reuters vehicle in Gaza

Reporters Without Borders voiced relief at the release today of Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig in Gaza City after nearly two weeks in captivity but condemned an Israeli missile attack on a clearly-identified Reuters press vehicle in Gaza that seriously injured a local news website journalist. “The release of the two US network journalists is very good news but the Palestinian authorities must still take concrete measures to protect media workers,” the press freedom organisation said. “As for the journalists targeted today by Israeli aircraft, we call on the Israeli military to carry out a thorough investigation to find out who was responsible.” 

Militant group says it holds two Fox News journalists

A group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades today released a video of two Fox News Channel journalists it said it kidnapped in the Gaza Strip last week. In a statement with the video, the previously unknown group demanded the release of Muslim prisoners held by the United States within 72 hours in exchange for the journalists, an American and a New Zealander. The group did not say what would happen if its demands were not met. Correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, and freelance cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, appeared in good health in the video, which was obtained by the Gaza-based news service Ramattan. They were kidnapped August 14 in the center of Gaza City. 

Palestinian death toll reaches 202 as 'Operation Summer Rains' extends into its tenth week

The nearly two-month long Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip continues to exact a heavy toll on the 1.4 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Two hundred and two (202) Palestinians, including 44 children have been killed since 28 June, when ‘Operation Summer Rains’ (the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) name for the offensive) began. One IDF soldier has been killed and 26 Israelis injured in the same period. 

Mobile street projections in New York City

Following a successful August 12th projection action on landmarks and in public areas of New York City, a multimedia projection team consisting of Emily Jacir, Bassem Nassar and Prerana Reddy reassembled on August 24th to create a mobile projection vehicle and take a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and multimedia pieces to the streets. Equipment and guidance were provided by the Graffiti Reseach Lab. Photo documentation by Nigel Parry. 

Filmmaker Ken Loach Joins the Cultural Boycott of Israel

Ken Loach, the acclaimed British director and winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, an artist who is known for his politically and socially engaged films, has declared in a personal statement his support of “the call by Palestinian film-makers, artists and others to boycott state sponsored Israeli cultural institutions and urge[s] others to join their campaign”. He anounced that he would not take part in the “Haifa Film Festival or any other such occasions,” a clear statement of his intent to boycott Israeli film festivals, and an acknowledgment of the fact that “Palestinians are driven to call for this boycott after forty years of the occupation of their land, destruction of their homes and the kidnapping and murder of their civilians”.