Saturday, August 26, 2006

FOX: Defending IDF Airstrike on Reuters Truck in Gaza

A Reuters armoured press vehicle, clearly marked as being such, was hit by an IDF missile strike on Saturday. Two journalists were wounded.

Michael Lawrence, Reuters Managing Editor for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "We are deeply concerned at this attack on a clearly marked press vehicle as journalists were doing their job to report the story from Gaza.

"We understand that the army says it had no intention of targeting the media, but this incident is totally unacceptable and we urge a careful examination of how this happened to ensure there is no repeat."

One FOX news reporter on the scene (video at Hot Air, along with various denigrating comments about 'al-Reuters') snuck in a defence of the IDF's strike in the middle of his commentary:

An Israeli aircraft fired two missiles hitting an armoured car belonging to the Reuters News Agency moderately wounding 5 people including two cameramen. Now, we've just gotten word from the Israeli Defence Forces. They say the area is of high alert. They're searching for tunnels there, they're also looking for explosives that have been planted by Palestinian militants alongside the border fence. They say the car was suspicious. It was dark. They were not able to read the markings on the side and that the investigation is continuing. The journalists had the doors open and were about to get out of the armoured vehicle when it was struck by the missile coming from that Israeli aircraft.

Well John, the Israeli Defence Forces are in the process of investigating it right now. They do admit that they did hit a Reuters truck - Reuters SUV, basically - an armoured truck but, in their defence a liitle bit, it's an area of the Gaza strip where there's been all sorts of problems. There's been tunnels they've been looking for also some explosives were said to have been put alongside the Israeli border fence in that region. The Israeli Defence Forces say that they were working in that area. There were reports of this mysterious car. Of course, it's the middle of the night. It's very dark. To see markings of any sort is tough but the car was marked with 'Press' in English, in Arabic and in Hebrew. However the Israeli forces did that Reuters SUV. The cameraman was injured. A local photographer was also injured and 3 bystanders. At this point, we're told that none of the injuries are life-threatening but some of them were moderate, John.

FOX - They report. You decide get biased news coverage.

Is it too much to expect that they just report facts? Apparently so.

Israel has a long history of attacks on journalists and restrictions applied to those reporting on its conflicts in the region. (See also: In the Line of Fire). It's a contentious relationship that has yet to be resolved after years of complaints and inquiries. That is not to say, of course, that Saturday's attack on the Reuters truck was intentional. It certainly is incumbent on the IDF, however, to act more cautiously than it has when it comes to dealing with journalists covering war zones considering its seriously blemished history.

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