Democracy Now Recent News
Posted by uscsjp on August 18, 2008
Exoneration of Israeli Troops in Fatal Shootings Raises Fears of Further Attacks
“In Israel and the Occupied Territories, Palestinian journalists and Israeli human rights groups are joining to condemn an Israeli decision not to prosecute soldiers involved in the death of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana and eight Palestinian youths. The twenty-four-year-old Shana died on April 16th in Gaza when an Israeli tank shelled his vehicle clearly marked ‘press.’ Shana’s final piece of footage shows the tank firing a shell just before the camera went black. The other eight victims were aged between twelve and twenty years old. Reuters correspondent Nidal al-Mughrabi said the decision is being feared as an endorsement of future attacks.
Nidal al-Mughrabi: ‘The Israeli report on the killing of Fadel has grown fears among Palestinian journalists covering the conflict with Israel in the Gaza…between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the Gaza Strip, about the mission, you know, the mission to cover and to film. And we have been hearing from all other colleagues that they are not certain, they are not sure, about their lives anymore after such a report, which makes clear that the mere raising of a camera in the street, in a refugee camp or near the border can put someone’s life in danger.’
Meanwhile, in Israel, Jessica Montell, director of the Israeli human rights group B’tselem, said Israel had used illegal weapons in the attack.
Jessica Montell: ‘In this incident on April 16th, six civilians were killed by flechette darts, a weapon that is illegal, that should not be being used in these conditions in the Gaza Strip, and one of the six was a journalist. For all of these reasons, I would have expected the army to have opened and conducted a very thorough investigation into this case, and they chose not to do so. The lack of accountability in this case is reflected in the lack of accountability for thousands of Palestinians who have been killed in the
–Democracy Now, August 15, 2008
Israel Clears Soldiers in Killing of Palestinian Journalist, Youths
“.. the Israeli government has announced it won’t prosecute soldiers involved in the death of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana and eight Palestinian youths. The twenty-four-year-old Palestinian died on April 16th in Gaza when an Israeli tank shelled his vehicle clearly marked ‘press.’ Shana’s final piece of footage shows the tank firing a shell just before the camera went black. The other eight victims were aged between twelve and twenty years old. Israel says it won’t prosecute, because the soldiers were justified in opening fire. Reuters bureau chief Alastair Macdonald criticized the decision.
Alastair Macdonald: ‘We’re extremely disappointed. This report appears to condone the use of deadly force in a situation where the soldiers could not be, and admit they were not, certain of what they were looking at. We believe that there were grounds for them to realize that they were looking at a journalist. This puts us in the position where journalists cannot raise a camera in the presence of Israeli soldiers without the risk of being fired on. And we find that unacceptable, and we’re going to be discussing with the Israeli officials how we can improve the safety of our journalists in the future.'”
–Democracy Now, August 14, 2008
Report: US Rejects Israeli Aid Request for Iran Attack
“The Bush administration has reportedly turned down an Israeli request for military assistance with a strike on nuclear sites in Iran. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israeli officials asked President Bush for specific military equipment and other backup during Bush’s visit to Israel in May. White House officials are said to have refused the request and insisted Israel give prior notice before planning any attack on Iran. Israel reportedly rejected the request and said it reserves the right to attack Iran if nuclear talks fail.”
–Democracy Now, August 13, 2008
Humanitarian Activists to Sail Boats to Gaza
“Two boats carrying humanitarian activists are scheduled to leave Cyprus today and are heading to the Gaza Strip in a bid to break Israel’s blockade and raise awareness for Palestinian human rights. Members of the Free Gaza Movement include three European parliamentarians and Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Lauren Booth: ‘What is going on there is so far beyond what the general public around the world is allowed to see. You can not not react with compassion and pity for what the individuals of Gaza is going through. I want to reach there. All of us desperately hope that there will be humanitarian aid increase and a port opened for these people to be able to go in and out of this giant, open-air prison.'”–Democracy Now, August 12, 2008