March 6, 2003 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Two Reuters journalists wounded in Jabalya : Reporters Without Borders calls on the Israeli army to open an inquiry

Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders, RSF) has called on Israeli defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, to open an investigation into the wounding of two Reuters journalists while filming an Israeli incursion on the Gaza Strip on 6 March. Ahmed Jadallah and Shams Odeh, respectively a photographer and a cameraman, were wounded early in the morning at the Jabalya Palestinian refugee camp. Ahmed Jadallah suffered severe shrapnel injuries in both legs. Blood pouring from his wounds, he was dragged from the scene by bystanders and taken to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. Reuters said it hoped to get its journalist transferred to an Israeli hospital for further treatment. Shams Odeh was less seriously injured and was taken to the same hospital with a fractured foot. "The Israeli army must conduct a serious and speedy inquiry to shed full light on the circumstances in which two journalists were wounded while covering the news in the occupied territories", said RSF General Secretary Robert Ménard, urging them to make public the outcome as well as any disciplinary action. Eye-witnesses and Palestinian medical sources said the journalists were injured when a tank shell hit a group of people trying to put out a fire, killing eight. According to an Israeli officer, a bomb first exploded inside a building. A tank then fired a shell against a Palestinian militant armed with a rocket launcher. The Israeli incursion into the Jabalya refugee camp left a total of 11 dead. It came in retaliation for a Palestinian attack the previous day in the city of Haïfa, northern Israël, that killed 15 and injured around 40 others. RSF recalled that during 2002, eight journalists, including two French and one American, suffered bullet wounds while filming in Israeli-occupied Palestinian towns. In most cases these journalists were clearly identifiable and did not constitute any threat to the soldiers. They were injured by warning or intimidatory shots that occasionally led to serious injury. RSF deplores the fact that no disciplinary measures were taken by the Israeli Army against those responsible.