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Palestinian snipers fire on Israeli TV crew near Gaza border

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns the shots that were fired at an Israeli TV reporter and a cameraman on 15 January 2008 while in a kibbutz adjoining the border with the Gaza Strip, although they were clearly identifiable as journalists.

"Whatever their nationality, reporters are neutral observers and must not be regarded as a party to any conflict," the press freedom organisation said. "Targeting journalists is unacceptable and must be firmly condemned."

Reporter Nir Dvori and cameraman Meir Benharush of Channel Two went to the Ein Hashlosha kibbutz a few hours after an Ecuadorean volunteer was killed there by members of the Ezzedin Al-Qassem Brigades, the armed branch of Hamas.

"This was the first time someone was killed on the border," Dvori told Reporters Without Borders. "We wanted to accompany the farm workers who went back to the apple orchard where the young man was killed to recover their tractor. We thought the danger was over and that the Palestinian snipers had withdrawn. But when we started filming, shots began raining down on us. But there were no soldiers with us. We were just civilians."

Dvori said the shots coming from the Gaza Strip went on for half an hour. Benharush filmed the first few minutes.

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