Journalism watchdog condemns Palestinian cameraman shooting

Updated: 2007-07-07 17:22

JERUSALEM -Two more media advocay groups condemned the shooting of a cameraman for Hamas TV, who lay wounded on the ground when he came under more fire during a clash with Israeli troops.

The incident, captured by TV cameras, took place Thursday, during heavy fighting between Hamas militants and Israeli forces in central Gaza. The cameraman, Imad Ghanem, had to have both legs amputated as a result of his injuries.

Israeli army spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibowitch, has said it was not clear who shot Ghanem, a cameraman for the Hamas-allied Al Aqsa TV, though she did not deny it could have been Israeli troops. There are no plans to investigate, she said.

Leibowitch said the cameraman was a legitimate target because he was with the Hamas gunmen firing at Israeli forces, was separated from other journalists covering the clash, and could have been carrying a weapon.

On Friday, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists condemned the shooting and called for an investigation.

Two more media advocacy groups, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, also issued protests.

"The Israeli military's repeated attacks on media and journalists during military operations are unacceptable and constitute violations of international humanitarian law," said Reporters Without Borders. The group demanded an investigation into why soldiers continued firing toward Ghanem after he had been injured.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists also called for an investigation.

"We are horrified by the Israeli forces apparent targeting of cameraman Imad Ghanem," the group's executive director, Joel Simon, said. "He was carrying out legitimate journalistic duties when he was seriously wounded. Deliberate targeting of journalists cannot be justified. We call on the Israeli army to investigate this incident fully and make its findings public."


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