Basil Nabil Ibrahim Faraj, a 22-year-old Palestinian cameraman, was part of a four-member television crew that was traveling in Gaza on December 27, 2008, when its car was hit by an Israeli air strike, according to regional news reports. The crew was not the target of the attack, but was hit by shrapnel and debris from the strike, the reports said.
Faraj’s crew had just completed an interview near Al-Wa’d Association for Prisoners, a Hamas-affiliated charitable organization dedicated to supporting Palestinians in Israeli custody, when the association’s building came under Israeli attack, Atif Issa, director general of the Palestinian Media and Communication Company, told CPJ. The crew, employed by the media company, was on assignment for Algerian TV.
All four crew members suffered injuries, but Faraj was the most critically wounded. He sustained a severe head injury and fell into a coma while in transit to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He was later transferred to a hospital in Egypt where he was pronounced dead on January 7, according to news reports.
The Israel Defense Forces, which hit dozens of targets that day as part of Operation Cast Lead, said that most of the injured on December 27 were Hamas operatives, and said Palestinian civilians staying in firing areas or hosting Hamas personnel could be harmed, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.
The IDF did not announce an investigation into the journalist’s killing at the time.
CPJ asked the IDF about Faraj and other cases of IDF killings of journalists in an April 2023 email. The IDF did not respond to the query about Faraj’s case but said “it sees great importance in preserving the freedom of the press and the professional work of journalists.”
This report was updated on April 25, 2023.