Cameraman seriously injured in targeted attack by Israeli army on journalists in Gaza

The Israeli army masses troops near the border with the Gaza Strip June 26, 2006. (MaanImages/Inbal Rose)

Condemning the Israeli army’s latest targeted attack on journalists in the Gaza Strip, in which Ibrahim Atla, a cameraman with the Palestinian public TV broadcaster, was seriously injured this morning by shots fired by a tank in eastern Gaza, Reporters Without Borders today urged the Israeli authorities to calm their troops down.

“We appeal to the Israeli authorities to put an end to targeted attacks on civilians and we call for immediate measures to ensure the safety of journalists covering the fighting,” the organisation said. “Journalists and other media workers have repeatedly been the victims of deliberate violence by the Israeli forces, especially in recent weeks.”

A journalist who witnessed this morning’s attack told Reporters Without Borders it was deliberate. “We were wearing vests indicating that we were media workers,” he said. “But an Israeli army tank located 150 metres away began firing towards us. We began to run but the shots continued.”

Around 20 media workers were covering the Israeli army’s incursion into the Gaza Strip this morning when the attack took place. Atla, who was wearing a vest with the word “Media,” was hit in the chest by shrapnel from a shell. He was rushed to Shifa hospital in Gaza where doctors described his condition as critical. His assistant and a Japanese journalist were also injured and a Reuters vehicle was damaged.

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