Hamid Shihab, a Palestinian driver for the Gaza-based press agency Media 24, was killed when his car, clearly marked as a press vehicle, was struck by an Israel Defense Forces air strike in Gaza City on July 9, 2014, which injured several others, the agency reported.
Media 24 cameraman Hatem Silmy told CPJ that Shihab was parked outside his home when the car was hit. The two were headed to the Media 24 office so Silmy could report on the ongoing conflict between Israeli and Palestinian forces, the cameraman said.
The car was clearly marked as a press vehicle, according to multiple news reports. Photographs taken by Palestinian freelance journalist Zouheir al-Najjar and posted on Facebook show the word “TV” written in red on the car’s gray hood; the post appears to have been deleted.
According to a statement by UNESCO, a missile strike killed Shihab.
The Israel Defense Forces told CPJ that Shihab’s killing had been referred to an internal IDF committee led by investigators who had not been part of the chain of command during the incident. According to the findings posted online in September 2014, the investigation concluded that “intelligence information and direct evidence indicated [the car] was being used to transport weaponry.” It added that IDF forces did not see the TV markings on the car and claimed that the “TV” symbol was apparently being used to hide the vehicle’s purported military use. The published findings, which refer to Shihab as Ahmed Abdullah Mahmoud Shabab, did not provide any evidence to support these claims.
Shihab’s brother, Ahmed Shihab, told CPJ in 2023 that the journalist had “no relationship to any Palestinian parties.”
CPJ asked the IDF about Shihab and other cases of IDF killings of journalists in an April 2023 email. The IDF did not respond to the query about Shihab’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.