Death of a Reuters photographer

Reuters has been a prime purveyor of the propaganda and lies emanating from the terrorist organizations of the Middle East. In Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, for example, Reuters was caught disseminating doctored propaganda photos that came to be dubbed fauxtography.

Fauxtography includes staged and falsely captioned photographs, both of which Reuters has also perpetrated on behalf of terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Gaza in particular has been a fertile source of Reuters fauxtography. For a falsely captioned set of photographs disseminated by Reuters from a Gaza hospital, see this. For a staged propaganda photograph of Yasser Arafat at a Gaza hospital, see my own post “He didn’t give at the office” and my related Weekly Standard article on Arafat’s post-9/11 public relations production.

Earlier this week the 23-year-old photographer Fadel Shana was killed in Gaza during an Israeli military operation. News reports such as this Reuters story and this CBC television report relate the assertion of Gaza doctors that Shana was killed by an Israeli tank round. Shana may have been hit by an Israeli tank shell fired from a tank he was filming at a distance of at least several hundred yards.

We last heard of Shana in the immediate aftermath of the Hezbollah war. In August 2006 we published a series of posts on an alleged Israeli attack on a Reuters vehicle in which Shana was traveling with an employee of an Iranian television network. We doubted that an Israeli missile (or two) hit the vehicle as alleged. Our posts included this, this, and this. Caroline Glick summarized the story involving Shana in “Terrorist theater tricks.”

Is it possible that the cause of Shana’s death is not as reported? Brian Ledbetter asks the question and provides ground for doubt in “Palestinian fauxtography?.” In addition, Aussie Dave notes that Shana is being mourned in Gaza as a “shahid” (updated here, more here). The IDF disputes the account of the cause of Shana’s death. Perhaps Shana was killed in the manner alleged, but at present there is room for reasonable doubt.

UPDATE: Pat Dollard has posted video that corroborates the Reuters account. Among the statements issued by the IDF and the Israeli government yesterday are the following:

An Israeli military spokeswoman, Major Avital Leibovich, said there had been clashes there throughout the day after the three Israeli troops had been killed overnight in the same area.

A military official said: “We wish to express sorrow for the death of the Palestinian cameraman… It should be emphasised that the area in which the cameraman was hurt is an area in which ongoing fighting against armed, extreme and dangerous terrorist organisations occurs on a daily basis.”

“The presence of media, photographers and other uninvolved individuals in areas of warfare is extremely dangerous and poses a threat to their lives.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokesman said: “In our operations we try to be as surgical as possible and make every effort not to see innocent people caught up in the fighting.”

One of the commenters on Pat Dollard’s post observes: “If you put your camera up on your shoulder and point it at a tank in a war zone, expect to die! The tankers can’t tell the difference between a shoulder-launched anti-tank weapon and your (probably al Qaeda-symathetic) camera.”

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