Committee to Protect Journalists

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. 

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. 

Lebanese journalist killed, TV transmitters hit

The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the killing of a freelance photographer and a media technician during separate Israeli missile attacks in Lebanon. Layal Najib, 23, a freelance photographer for the Lebanese magazine Al-Jaras and Agence France-Presse, became the first journalist to be killed since Israel began attacks on Lebanon in response to a cross-border raid by the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. Najib was in a taxi yesterday trying to meet up with a convoy of villagers fleeing the Israeli bombardment of south Lebanon when she was hit by shrapnel from a missile on the road between the villages of Sadiqeen and Qana, local media reported. 

TV crews targeted by Israeli warplanes in the south

The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today over allegations by several television crews that Israeli warplanes had attacked them, effectively shutting down live television coverage from southeast Lebanon. Crews from four Arab television stations told CPJ that Israeli aircraft fired missiles within 80 yards (75 meters) of them on July 22 to prevent them from covering the effects of Israel’s bombardment of the area around the town of Khiam, in the eastern sector of the Israel-Lebanon border “Israeli aircraft targeted in an air raid TV crews, especially Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al-Manar,”said Ghassan Benjeddou, Al-Jazeera’s Lebanon bureau chief. 

Palestine TV cameraman targeted by Israeli tank in Gaza

The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the wounding of Palestine Television cameraman Ibrahim al-Atla by an Israeli tank shell while covering fighting in Gaza. Palestine Television head Mohammed al-Dahoudi alleged that the tank fired deliberately at al-Atla and other journalists with him. Al-Atla was hit by shrapnel during a lull in shooting between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces in the densely-populated Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City yesterday. Al-Dahoudi told CPJ that al-Atla was wearing a vest clearly indicating that he was press. He accused Israeli forces of firing directly at the journalist. 

TV crews hit by Israeli bullets in the West Bank

The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that members of two Arab television crews were wounded by rubber bullets during an Israeli army operation in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday. Wael Tanous, a satellite technician with the Qatar-based channel Al-Jazeera, was hit in the left leg while standing near his uplink vehicle on a main road in Nablus around noon, Al-Jazeera reporter Guevara al-Budeiri told CPJ. She said Tanous, like all crew members, was wearing a vest labeled “TV.” Walid al-Omary, Jerusalem-based bureau chief of Al-Jazeera, told CPJ, “It was clear when they shot him that they knew he was press.” Tanous was treated at a local hospital. 

Al-Jazeera reporters detained in northern Israel

The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the detention of Al-Jazeera television crews covering Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel amid allegations that they were “assisting the enemy.” Walid al-Omary, Jerusalem-based bureau chief for the Arab satellite TV station, told CPJ that he had been detained by Israeli police three times in two days for his reporting on the location of rocket attacks. Al-Omary said he was detained yesterday evening with his crew for two hours at a police station in the northern port city of Haifa. 

Israeli forces strike Al-Manar TV facilities

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Israel to explain its attacks on Al-Manar TV, the satellite news channel affiliated with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. Al-Manar managing director, Ali-Al-Haji, told CPJ that Israeli aircraft fired two missiles today at the station’s headquarters in the southern Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik. Two employees were injured by flying glass, and a civilian in a nearby house was also wounded. The top floors of the building were severely damaged, al-Haji said. However, the station continued to broadcast. Israeli forces separately struck two Al-Manar TV transmitters, one near Baalbek, northeast of Beirut, and another in Maroun al-Ras in southern Lebanon. 

UK court rules IDF shooting of filmmaker in Gaza was murder

The Committee to Protect Journalists today renewed its call for Israel to properly investigate the killing of a British cameraman in the Gaza Strip after a London court found that his shooting by an Israeli officer was murder. James Miller, an award-winning filmmaker, was filming a documentary about Palestinian children caught up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when he was hit by a single shot in the neck three years ago. London’s St Pancras Coroner’s Court concluded today that Miller was shot deliberately. 

Journalists attacked in Nablus by Israeli soldiers

The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that Israeli soldiers have attacked Palestinian journalists covering unrest in the West Bank city of Nablus on at least two occasions this month. On April 17, soldiers fired at a group of cameramen and photographers covering an Israeli army raid on a house in the Old City of Nablus. The journalists said they were filming the raid, and clashes between soldiers and stone-throwing youths, from a distance of about 500 yards (meters), beside an AP vehicle that was clearly marked “Press.” They were wearing phosphorus green vests labeled “Press.”