Skip to comments.Israeli army says no action on wounded reporters
Posted on 12/19/2001 3:16:25 AM PST by kattracks
JERUSALEM, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The Israeli army said on Tuesday it had largely concluded a review of complaints by journalists wounded while covering Israeli-Palestinian violence and decided against any further action against soldiers.
The Foreign Press Association (FPA), representing foreign journalists in Israel and the Palestinian territories, described the findings as incomplete and said they contributed to an atmosphere in which soldiers were not held accountable for shooting reporters in the field.
The army said in a statement its review "indicates that all the cases in which journalists were injured took place during violent confrontations".
It noted reporters covering a 15-month-old Palestinian uprising put themselves at "certain risk", adding "there is nothing in the complaints to suggest a pattern, or to suggest premeditated or wilful intent on the part of IDF (Israel Defence Forces) troops to harm the journalists".
The army cited six examples of journalists who were shot -- including a Reuters photographer and cameraman -- saying that in each case violent demonstrations or exchanges of fire were taking place between troops and Palestinians at the time.
In some instances, the army said, it did not have conclusive evidence the wounds were caused by Israeli fire.
The FPA said the release of the army's findings more than a year after the complaints were made, and the overall lack of punitive measures, did not suggest the probes were thorough.
"The message this delivers to soldiers, whether the army intends this or not, is that preventing the shooting of journalists and punishing those who shoot them are not of utmost importance," the FPA said in a statement.
It demanded that the army "treat any such future incidents with greater seriousness than it has applied to date".
40 JOURNALISTS SHOT
Press freedom groups have cited some 40 cases of journalists wounded by shooting while working for foreign news organisations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The army mentioned two cases in which soldiers were reprimanded and removed from serving in an area in which reporters were wounded by Israeli fire.
It said one incident involving an Abu Dhabi television reporter was still under review.
The army said it had taken steps such as educational programmes for soldiers and closer coordination with representatives of the press to prevent future incidents.
"The IDF has an unequivocal commitment to the professional freedom of journalists and to their safety in all that regards their contact with the IDF," the army statement said, adding it viewed journalists "as innocent civilians".
© Reuters Limited
Wounded journalists are much more intertaining that head-shot ones who tend to just drop instantly...I used to love Sunday mornings on our squatter's patch...Sunday was fried chicken day...by 10am all us kids were lined up on the fence waiting for Pa to select which chicken neck to wring off...Watching that headless chicken flappin around squirtin blood and sheddin feathers never failed to excite us...We were still yappin about it 2 hours later as we fought over the last piece...
Anyway, war zones are war zones. I mean, you don't deny that Palestinian gunmen are shooting at Israelis, do you? And that Israelis fire back? It's not a lovely situation, and if you're smack in the middle of it, well you might get hurt. It's not 'fair' for anybody.
Aiding and abetting the enemy in time of war is a dangerous occupation.
Why are you in Detroit ?
Which Israeli reporters? Amira Hass, the reporter for Ha'aretz who was ordered by the Israeli courts to pay $85,000 in a libel suit? Amira Hass, the Israeli's answer to Tokyo Rose and Hanoi Jane? That Israeli reporter?
Besides, being a reporter is like being a Muslim ... it trumps all other allegiances and beliefs. They're a Muslim/reporter first, last, and always ... it's the herd mentality.
In a combat/hostile fire zone, all reporters should be shot.
Survivors should be shot again.
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