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A camera is not a weapon – redux


fadel.jpgI’ve written before  that a camera is not a weapon, that a journalist is not a combatant, that the pen and the sword should not be confused.

Yet the Israel Defense Forces seem to be putting the camera very much in the category of weapon in a report on the death in April of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana.

I’ve given a quote to our reporters about my disappointment in the report.

That it does state that the death was a “tragedy” does not counteract the fact that it condoned the firing of two deadly shells at people it admitted had not been identified clearly and whose only crime was to put a camera on a tripod.

Said the report: “Two persons were spotted leaving the vehicle, carrying a large black object. The black object was placed on a tripod above a dirt mound, and directed at the tank…. The tank crew reported the spotting to its superiors. The latter authorized firing a tank shell at the characters, in light of the genuine suspicion that the object mounted on the tripod and directed at the tank was an anti-tank missile or mortar, a suspicion consistent with the characteristics of that day’s hostilities…”