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IDF Shoots and Kills Associated Press Cameraman in the West Bank: Nazeh Darwazeh Is the Seventh Journalist Killed in Last Two Years By Israeli Forces. We Talk to An Eyewitness

April 21, 2003

An Israeli soldier shot and killed an Associated Press cameraman in the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday.

45 year old Nazeh Darwazeh was filming a skirmish Israeli troops firing on rock-throwing Palestinians.

Then, an Israeli soldier pointed his gun at the journalists and fired. Darwazeh was shot in the head.

He and the other cameramen covering the melee wore brightly colored vests that said "Press" in bold letters.

The IDF has killed seven journalists–six Palestinians and one Italian–in the past two years in the territories.

Darwazeh had lived in Nablus all his life and had worked for AP for two years. He is survived by a wife, Raeda, and by five children ranging in age from 6 months to 9 years.

Demonstrations protesting the IDF’s shooting were held in Ramallah and Bethlehem yesterday. Haaretz reported the demonstrators covered their mouths with black cloth, symbolizing the "gagging" of the media.

Haaretz went on to report: "Video films from the time of shooting show an IDF soldier kneeling by a tank and shooting. Witnesses say the shot hit Dawarzeh’s camera and head. Dawarzeh was not standing between the soldiers and the Palestinians, they said. Films from Reuters, Nablus Television and Dawarzeh’s own camera — document the soldier shooting and Dawarzeh being hit, but it is not clear whether the soldier was aiming toward the journalists."

The Foreign Press Association in Israel called for a comprehensive investigation into Dawarzeh’s shooting.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights yesterday accused the IDF of stepping up the attacks on the media, "in an attempt to gag it and prevent public debate on the acts of the Israeli army."

The Israeli military had no immediate comment but said it was looking into the shooting.

Meanwhile in Gaza, five Palestinians and an Israeli combat photographer were killed in an early morning tank and helicopter raid on the densely populated Rafah refugee camp. This came during one of Israeli’s largest attacks on Gaza since the second intifada began 30 months ago.

We are joined now by Abed Qusini a Reuters photographer who was standing next to Nazeh Darwazeh when he was shot.

  • Abed Qusini, Reuters photographer in Nablus who was standing next to Nazeh Darwazeh when he was shot.

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