February 15, 2002 - Updated on January 20, 2016

The Israeli army shoots at a journalist's car and wounds him

In a letter sent to the Israeli Chief of Staff, Shaul Moffaz, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) protests the Israeli's army shooting at the car of Sagui Bashan in Netzarim in the Gaza Strip. Sagui Bashan is a journalist for Israel's second television channel. "Whatever their nationality, journalists should be able to move around the different territories without their lives' being endangered," asserts Robert Ménard, RSF's secretary general. "We are requesting that you carry out an impartial investigation so as to determine the exact circumstances of this incident and to take the disciplinary measures called for against those responsible." RSF calls attention to that fact that since the start of the second Intifada, it has recorded 46 incidents in which journalists have been wounded by bullets. After carrying out investigations in the field, RSF has concluded that in a majority of cases responsibility lies with the Israeli army. According to information received by RSF, on 14 February, when Sagui Bashan, journalist for the second Israeli television channel was leaving the Gaza Strip where he had spent part of the evening covering the Israeli army incursion into the area, at about 10 p.m. he was stopped at a military barricade in Netzarim. After having shown his press card to the soldiers, he asked to see the order from a superior officer stating that it was a "closed military territory". When the soldiers told him they didn't have such a document, the journalist started off. After he'd driven a few metres, the soldiers opened fire on his car. He was wounded in the shoulder by the ricochets of real bullets. The journalist was admitted during the night to Soroka Hospital in the town of Bersheva. Since the beginning of the second Intifada on 29 September 2000, RSF has recorded 46 cases of journalists' being wounded by bullets. Certain wounds have been very serious. After in-the-field investigations, RSF found that in the majority of cases responsibility has been attributable to the Israeli army. RSF has requested that the investigations be expedited. In mid-December 2001, i.e. fifteen months after the first confrontations, the Israeli Ministry of Defence divulged the findings of its investigations. Only nine of the journalists wounded were mentioned in the document, which, except in one single case, exonerated the Tsahal.