Van used by terrorists
Photo: Amir Cohen

Palestinian press angry with militants' use of 'TV' van

Journalists' union say gunmen's use of alleged press vehicle in Saturday attack on Israeli border endangers reporters

The Palestinian journalists' union criticised militants on Sunday for using a vehicle marked with a "TV" sign to approach Gaza's border with Israel Saturday and attack an Israeli military position across the border fence.


One militant was killed in the attack, jointly claimed by Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - Fatah's military wing. The Israeli military said none of its soldiers was hurt.


"The use of vehicles that carry 'Press', 'TV' or other signs... expose journalists' lives to danger, gives the Israeli occupation a pretext to target and kill journalists and restricts their ability to perform their professional and national duties," the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate said.


"We stress our rejection of the use of media vehicles and the involvement of the press in any existing conflict, and we demand all parties stop using these methods," said the group, the sole journalists' union in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.


News photographs showed the white armoured vehicle, with "TV" in red letters on the front, at Kissufim crossing after the attack, bullet holes in its windshield.


Abu Ahmed, spokesman for Islamic Jihad's armed wing, accused the Israeli military of fixing the TV sign to the armored car.


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in broadcast remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, said the attackers used "a vehicle marked 'TV' in order to fool Israeli soldiers".


He said the gunmen had tried "to take advantage of the special sensitivity that we have in a democratic country, such as ours, to the right of the media to operate freely and independently in security-sensitive areas".


The Israel-based Foreign Press Association said in a statement the use of a vehicle marked with TV insignia represented "abuse of this recognised protection for the working journalist" and was "a grave development."


פרסום ראשון: 06.10.07, 16:32
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