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Sunday, August 27, 2006

We have seen the enemy and he is... al-Reuters

No, the IAF did not finally discover that Israel's real enemy is al-Reuters. But this morning, an IAF helicopter fired missiles at a car that was driving suspiciously that turned out to be full of 'Palestinian' stringers in the service of the 'Palestinian Authority' Al-Reuters. The strike was an accident, but given that they were driving in a war zone, I'm not sure why. Now hold your horses: I'm not advocating targeting the media. But it sounds like these guys were in a very dangerous zone in which they had no business being. Let's pick up the story from YNet:

Palestinian witnesses and hospital officials said that an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles east of Gaza City early Sunday at an armored car belonging to the Reuters news agency, moderately wounding five people, including two cameramen.

The Israeli army said it did not realize the car’s passengers were journalists and only attacked because the vehicle was driving in a suspicious manner near Israeli troops in the middle of a combat zone. A Hamas militant was killed in another air strike, hospital officials reported.

The violence came as Israeli soldiers - backed by two dozen tanks, two bulldozers, helicopters and drone planes - moved into an area just inside the Gaza Strip near the Karni crossing, witnesses and Palestinian security officials said.

The army said the troops were searching for explosives planted by Palestinian militants alongside the border fence and for tunnels under the border. After the operation began, groups of militants repeatedly gathered to try to attack the soldiers, the army and witnesses said.

The Reuters cameraman, Fadel Shama’a, 23, and Sabah Hamida, 25, who worked for a local television company, opened the doors of their armored vehicle and were about to get out in the nearby Shajaiyeh neighborhood to film the raid when it was struck by the missiles, according to Shamas Odeh, chief of Reuters TV in Gaza.

The cameramen, along with three bystanders, were moderately injured with shrapnel wounds and all five were sent for surgery, hospital officials said. The front seats of the car were covered in blood and shrapnel had ripped up much of the inside of the vehicle. One of the bulletproof windows was completely destroyed. The white sports utility vehicle was emblazoned with the Reuters logo and had “TV” And “Press” Written on it in English, Arabic and Hebrew. [I wonder if it was as well marked as the Red Cross ambulance a couple of weeks ago. CiJ]

“This is a cold-blooded crime,” said Mohammed Dawdi, head of the local journalists union. Capt. Noa Meir, an army spokeswoman, said the vehicle was the only one in the combat area, was driving suspiciously and came near Israeli forces during the nighttime raid. “That’s why it was targeted. It was seen as a threat,” she said. “There were no clear TV marks (on the car). At least we didn’t see one.”


“It’s unfortunate when journalists get hurt, but that is not the intention,” Meir said.

However, the area was an active battlefield and the reporters should not have been there, she said, adding that three Hamas militants attacked soldiers from the same spot 10 minutes after the air strike.

During the raid early Sunday, aircraft repeatedly fired missiles into fields where Palestinian militants were gathering on the edge of Shajaiyeh, killing a Hamas militant, rescue officials said.

Ambulance drivers reported coming under fire from Israeli helicopters as they tried to retrieve the body. The army said it was checking the report. [I'm not sure why this is an issue. They shoot at our ambulances when we're rescuing civilians. They were rescuing a terrorist. CiJ]

The army also told residents in three nearby buildings to evacuate their houses as bulldozers cleared land near the border, witnesses said. Soldiers also took over some rooftops and searched several houses, they said.
I suspect that there is a lot more to this story and that a lot of it isn't quite true. Note that it's all based on 'Palestinian' 'witnesses.'


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