Israeli forces injure 14 journalists since 25 June 2006

GAZA (27 August 2006) Ma'an - THE latest Israeli shelling of a press car in the east of Gaza on Sunday was not a surprise for media workers in Palestine as it is not the first time that Israeli forces have targeted journalists and photographers.

The two cameramen, Fadil Shana'ah, 22, and Sabbah Hamida, 27, did not expect the Israeli warplanes that were supporting the Israeli forces' invasion of the Ash Shuja'iyyeh district east of Gaza, to target them because they were traveling in clearly-marked press vehicles.

The two continued to proceed into the area even as rockets fell on them, leading to them being seriously injured and admitted into the intensive care unit in the Ash Shifa'a Hospital in Gaza.

Medical sources reported that Shana'ah, who has worked for the Reuters news agency for four years, was seriously injured in various parts of his body by shrapnel, including in his head and lower limbs. His condition is now stable.

The director of the media agency, Atif Issa, told Ma'an that Sabbah Hamidah was now in a stable condition.

Issa added that Hamidah has worked for the media group for six years. He said that the company provides images and photographs to the LBC satellite channel in Dubai and the world.

Doctors said that an artery in Hamida's foot cut, causing severe bleeding. He was also injured in several parts of the body by shrapnel. Doctors at the Ash Shifa'a Hospital transplanted sections of an artery from his second leg into the injured leg.

Mohamed Ad Dahoudi accused Israel of continuing to target journalists, saying, "The continuous targeting of journalists betrays the Israeli army's fear of the Palestinian camera, which chronicles its massacres in the Gaza Strip and show the extent of its aggression against civilians."

He added that the Israeli occupation is no longer able to distinguish between members of the resistance, civilians and members of the media. Its targeting of cameramen has become direct and clear."

He went on to say that since the beginning of the Israeli army's Summer Rains campaign in late June, 12 Palestinian journalists, a Turkish journalist and a Japanese journalist were injured.

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