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Reuters cameraman Fadil Shana'a buried

April 17, 2008 3:29 P.M. (Updated: April 17, 2008 3:29 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - There were two coffins in the funeral procession for Reuters cameraman Fadil Shana'a, one carried his lifeless corpse and the other his camera and his protective vest.

Many tears were shed at the funeral. During his career Shana'a also shed many tears as he documented bereaved mothers and children.

Twenty three-year-old Shana'a always went in pursuit of the truth and the last moments of his life were spent in pursuit of that truth. His dead body was found lying among dead Gazan children targeted by Israeli tanks in the area of Juhor ad Dik in the Gaza Strip. The last shot his camera documented was the artillery shell that killed him. The Israeli authorities said he was killed accidentally.

An eyewitness, journalist Yassir Qadih, said, "Reuters journalist Fadil Shana'a was killed while he was in a jeep which was clearly marked 'Press'."

"There was nobody around us except a group of children who we were going to film. There were no resistance groups in the area" he added.

Television footage showed the jeep, with large signs reading "Press" and "TV" with a gaping hole blown in the driver's side.

Reuter's editor Nidal Al-Mughrabi was working with Shana'a up until he was killed, "The last picture Shana'a shot was a shell and suddenly we lost contact which meant he had been killed."

"The last thing Shana'a filmed was benzene canisters in a gas station in the central Gaza Strip. Then we headed to film victims of the Israeli attacks on Juhor ad Dik. When Fadil picked up the camera and got out of the car, a tank shell ended his life," said Arafat 'Uwda, Shana'a's assistant.

Reuters stated on its web site that "Shana'a was covering events in the Gaza Strip for Reuters on a day of intense violence." "He had stepped from his car to film an Israeli tank dug in several hundred meters away, when an explosion killed him and two youths passing by. Video from Shana'as camera showed the tank opening fire. Two seconds after the shot raises dust around its gun, the tape goes blank - seemingly at the moment Shana'a was hit," the statement added.

"My colleague Fadil Shana'a was the best and most courageous cameraman, and he got on well with everybody. But this is the destiny of every photojournalist who conveys the truth," said Rami 'Ubaid, a photojournalist for Ramatan news agency.

Fatah leader Hazim Abu Shanab, described targeting journalists as a "great crime," affirming that Israel does not recognize the Geneva Conventions. "The world should know the truth, and this is the duty of journalists," he added.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said, "The Israeli occupation targets journalists in order to kill the truth and impose political plans through dismembered limbs."

Senior Islamic Jihad leader Khalid Al-Batsh said that targeting journalists was part of "the holocaust policy" announced by Israeli forces. "They kill journalists, children, women and elderly citizens without exception," he said.

Since the beginning of the Intifada in late September 2000, Israeli Forces have killed nine journalists, including an Italian and a British journalist, and have wounded at least 170 others.

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