Joanne Allen
June 12, 2008 - 3:47pm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Committee to Protect Journalists on Wednesday called on Israel to release findings of an army investigation into the killing of a Reuters cameraman in the Gaza Strip in April.


Fadel Shana, a 24-year-old Palestinian, was hit by a spray of metal darts from a controversial type of missile on April 16 as he filmed an Israeli tank dug in about a kilometer (1,000 yards) away.

The CPJ expressed concerns about the case in a meeting with Israel's ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor, the New York-based organization said in a statement.

CPJ Senior Program Coordinator Joel Campagna told the ambassador: "We hope that Israeli authorities will provide answers that help explain this shocking incident," the statement said.


Meridor spoke with CPJ on condition that his comments not be publicized, the New York-based organization said.

An Israeli Embassy spokesman did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

In an interview with Reuters, Campagna said the journalists' group was disappointed that two months after the incident there had not been conclusive information on the killing from the Israeli authorities.

Shana's soundman, Wafa Abu Mizyed, was wounded in the arm and five other Palestinians were killed in the incident. A Reuters car carrying "TV" and "Press" markings was destroyed.

"The field investigation conducted by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) still hasn't been released and we are waiting for the authorities to explain how the decision to open fire on these journalists was taken," Campagna said.

"We called on the authorities today to release as soon as possible the IDF's investigation and called on the government to commit to conducting a thorough and credible inquiry into this incident," Campagna told Reuters.

The Israeli Army has expressed regret over the incident although Israeli forces have not said whether one of their tanks fired at the cameraman.

Reuters, backed by media organizations in the region and around the world, had requested an urgent investigation by the Israeli army, which has defended its use of flechette missiles, which spray tiny metal darts, in Gaza over complaints by human rights activists.


The news agency has also urged the Israeli military to share the findings of its investigation.

Journalists have been casualties on numerous occasions in the Palestinian territories. Media watchdogs estimate that at least eight journalists have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2001.

(Writing by JoAnne Allen; editing by Todd Eastham)


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