This screenshot from al-Manara's Facebook page shows photographer Rami Rayan working minutes before he was killed.
This screenshot from al-Manara's Facebook page shows photographer Rami Rayan working minutes before he was killed.

Another journalist killed in Gaza bombardment

New York, July 31, 2014–A second journalist was killed while covering the Israeli bombardment of the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza, according to news reports and the two journalists’ media outlets. The death marks at least three journalists and one media worker killed on duty since the Gaza conflict began this month, CPJ research shows.

CPJ reported Wednesday that Rami Rayan, a photographer for the local news agency the Palestine Network for Press and Media, was at the market covering Palestinian citizens shopping for basic necessities during a four-hour truce called by the Israeli military when he was killed by Israeli fire.

Samir Abu Mohsen, the programs director of the Hamas-run al-Aqsa TV channel, told CPJ today that one of the station’s cameramen, Sameh al-Aryan, was killed in the same incident. According to Mohsen, al-Aryan went to the market to take pictures of the bombardment when a second round of bombing hit.

At least two other journalists were injured in the strikes. Palestine Network for Press and Media’s manager, Nasr Abu Foul, told CPJ that their editor, Mahmoud al-Qasas, had been badly injured in the strike and was hospitalized with head injuries. The local al-Manara media agency said that its cameraman, Hamid al-Shobaky, was also injured and hospitalized.

“While journalists recognize the potentially deadly consequences of covering the conflict in Gaza, it’s far from clear that Israel is taking steps to minimize those risks, as the toll for journalists mounts by the day,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour.

A graphic video posted by al-Manara to its Facebook page shows repeated explosions rocking Shijaiyah, as the injured cry out for help amid ringing sirens. At the beginning of the video, Rayan can be seen filming as ambulances arrive on the scene. By the end, he lies dead on the street among other victims. According to CNN, the video came from al-Shobaky’s camera and, when he was injured, his assistant picked up the camera and continued to film.

More than a dozen people were killed and 160 wounded in the strikes on Shijaiyah, news reports said. In addition to the three journalists and one media worker killed while covering the war in Gaza, five other journalists have been killed by Israeli airstrikes and shelling while not on duty, according to news reports.

Al-Jazeera reported that an Israeli military spokeswoman said the military is investigating and that Shijaiyah was not one of the areas included in the “humanitarian pause.” The IDF spokesman’s office has not responded to CPJ’s request for comment.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This alert has been modified to reflect the correct spelling of Mahmoud al-Qasas’ name.