Saturday 27 December 2008

Cameraman dies of Israeli wounds

Palestinian cameraman Hamza Shahin

A Palestinian cameraman has died of wounds sustained two weeks ago when the Israeli army targeted resistance fighters in the Gaza strip.

Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Friday that the Palestinian cameraman, Hamza Shahin, died in a Beit Hanoun hospital in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Shahin, 21, was working with the Shihab Media Agency in the Gaza Strip and he remained in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit in al-Shifa Medical Center until he died of his wounds on Friday, International Middle East Media Center said.

Suheib Shihada, head of the Shihab Media Agency, condemned the Israeli attack and said that the Israeli occupation intentionally targets media staff in order to silence them.

Last week, a Press TV cameraman was shot by Israeli soldiers with a rubber bullet and Press TV's correspondent was knocked unconscious by teargas in Nilin where Palestinians are protesting the Israeli 'apartheid wall'.

In July, Israeli forces shot and killed a cameraman with Associated Press Television News who was filming clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus where Israeli troops raid Palestinians and arrest them on a daily basis. The APTN cameraman died of a bullet wound to the head.

Last month, in a move in violation of press freedom, the Israeli regime banned foreign journalists from entering the Gaza strip, where the impoverished Palestinians have been experiencing harsh conditions due to suffocating blockade aimed at weakening the Hamas government in the coastal area.

Israel says it has imposed the tight blockade to force Palestinians to halt rocket attacks from the region.

Hamas resistance movement took control of the Gaza Strip in mid-June 2007 after it had overwhelmingly won in the 2006 parliamentary elections.

The Islamic movement does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state.

The blockade however has failed to reduce Hamas popularity among Palestinians in general and Gazans in particular as a recent Israeli National Security Council assessment urged Tel Aviv to hinder "elections in the Palestinian Authority, even at the cost of a confrontation with the US and the international community" because the upcoming elections in the Palestinian Authority might lead to Hamas victory.

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