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Cameraman dies as result of air strike while filming in Gaza

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Condemns Killings of Journalists and Backs Media Protests over Israeli Actions

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the killing of a cameraman in Gaza as a result of an air strike carried out by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Basel Faraj, who worked as a cameraman for the Algerian TV network ENTV and the Palestine Broadcast Production Company, was wounded as a result of an Israeli air strike on 27 December. He died yesterday evening. He was filming in Gaza with reporters Mohamed Madi and Mohamed Al Tanany and Morocco Channel 2 cameraman, Khaled Abu Shammala, all of whom were injured in the attack.

Basel is the second journalist to die from injuries in the recent Gaza conflict. Hamza Shahin, a photographer with the Shehab News Agency, died on 26 December from wounds sustained in an earlier Israeli air attack on 7 December.

Journalists have been in the firing line since the beginning of the Israeli military operation. The Palestine Journalists Syndicate (PJS) says that Israeli forces have targeted vehicles and journalists who were clearly identified as such, with "Press" or "TV" markings.

The PJS has organised demonstrations in the West Bank town of Ramallah today to protest over the attacks on media and to show solidarity with journalists and media inside Gaza.

The IFJ has protested the destruction of the offices of Al Aqsa Television on December 28 by Israeli fighter planes and called for Israel to open up Gaza to foreign correspondents in line with an order from Israeli judges.

"We strongly support our colleagues in Palestine as they speak out against Israeli attacks on journalists and media outlets," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Israel is making a mockery of its status as a democratic country by violating international law, ignoring its own Supreme Court and showing contempt for the United Nations by defying its obligations under Resolution 1738 to protect journalists in conflict zones."

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide.

For further information on the Shahin case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/99555

For further information on the attack on Al Aqsa, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/99553

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