Palestine Network for Press and Media

July 30, 2014, in Shijaiyah, Gaza, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Al-Deiri, who worked for the Palestine Network for Press and Media, was killed while covering the Israeli bombardment of the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza, according to his employer and his father. At least 16 other people were killed in the incident, including the Palestine Network's correspondent Rami Rayan and Sameh al-Aryan, a cameraman for the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV channel, according to news reports.

The Palestine Network crew was at the Shijaiyah market to cover Palestinian citizens shopping for basic necessities during a four-hour truce called by the Israeli military, Nasr Abu Foul, the network's manager, told CPJ. Abu Foul told CPJ that the network's editor, Mahmoud al-Qasas, had been badly injured in the strike and was hospitalized with head injuries. The local Al-Manara media agency said its cameraman, Hamid al-Shobaky, was also injured and hospitalized in the incident.

There were conflicting reports on the role al-Deiri played for the network. A statement issued by the network said he was a cameraman. But al-Deiri's father, Nour al-Deiri, told CPJ that his son worked more as an assistant to Rayan, helping to carry equipment and cover events, including shooting video.

There were also conflicting reports on when al-Deiri died and when he was buried, but al-Deiri's father told CPJ that his son was killed on July 30, 2014, and buried the next day. He said he went to the hospital to donate blood and look for his son after hearing about the shelling but that he could not find any information. Late that night, he finally received a call saying his son was dead.

Photographs posted on Facebook on July 31, 2014, show al-Deiri's body in a shroud being carried to be buried among grieving friends and relatives.

A graphic video posted by the Al-Manara media agency shows repeated explosions rocking Shijaiyah on July 30, 2014, as the injured cry out for help amid ringing sirens. At the beginning of the video, Rayan is seen filming as ambulances arrive wearing a clearly marked press helmet and vest. At minute 3:49, the video shows Rayan lying dead between the two ambulances he had been filming minutes earlier. The video then cuts to al-Deiri lying in an alleyway in the fetal position, blood pooling at his feet. Several bystanders create a makeshift gurney out of a blanket and carry al-Deiri away. Unlike Rayan, al-Deiri is wearing civilian clothing: jeans and a black T-shirt. No camera or press equipment can be seen in the video.

A picture published on Felesteen Online news website shows al-Deiri in the back of a truck on the same blanket seen in the al-Manara video. It is not clear if the others in the photo are placing him on the truck where he was hit or taking him off the truck at the hospital.

CPJ's calls and emails to the Israel Defense Forces' spokesperson's unit about the bombardment of Shijaiyah were not immediately returned. But IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a July 22, 2014, press conference in response to CPJ's question about the recent death and injury of journalists and media workers in Gaza that "we do not target journalists [...] but journalists do sometimes put themselves in risky positions." He continued, "We have to do our best to facilitate and keep them out of harm's way."

Media Support Worker: In 2003, CPJ began documenting the deaths of vital media employees such as translators, drivers, fixers, and administrative workers.

Previous Journalist, 2014 »

Previous Journalist, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory »