Video: Israeli Tank Allegedly Fires on or Near Press Vehicle

Media groups are protesting the attack killing a journalist captured in a remarkable video below — showing an Israeli tank firing and hitting a clearly marked press vehicle. A medical examination showed on Thursday indicated that metal darts from the shell was the cause.

Not only is the attack causing an uproar but the possible use of the weapon, known as flechettes, is being raised. The 3 cm (1 inch)-long darts can cause considerable collateral damage to innocent individuals given the air explosion. Click here.

Reuters soundman Wafa Abu Mizyed, also in his 20s, was being treated for shock and injuries. Click here.

For the video, click here.

For the full story, click here.

46 thoughts on “Video: Israeli Tank Allegedly Fires on or Near Press Vehicle”

  1. A few major corrections:

    Under international law Gaza is still occupied, because the borders and movement of the population are still controlled by the Israeli military, even though they do not have a continuous presence on the land (although they do invade now and then).

    I hope Cindy did not mean that Gaza has been bombarding Israel with rockets since the so-called withdrawal in 2000 (really the transfer of settlers from Gaza to the West Bank). If so, you need to change your news sources because that is completely false. There have been long-term cease-fires self-imposed by Hamas – the longest I believe was a year and a half. On the other hand, Israeli violence has not stopped and eventually provoked a Hamas response.

    And if Israel uses such “restraint”, why is it constantly condemned worldwide by nations and international organizations at various times for collective punishment and other violations of international humanitarian law?

    On your final point, however, I agree entirely. The U.S. is most definitely not acting in the interest of Israel. Ron Paul’s approach would.

    Mespo, despite their extreme rhetoric, Hamas has actually made it clear for a while now that they would accept 1967 borders. Carter didn’t extract anything new.

  2. Cindy:

    Forner President Carter, over the objections of some in the current Administration and the right-wing blog sphere, apparently has made some significant progress with Hamas as revealed in this article.

    It seems incumbent upon Israel to reach out to respond to this softening of position by Hamas if peace is to have any chance.

    Carter will be the best ex-President in history if he pulls this off. He is almost certainly a better diplomatist than our current Chief Executive with his now famous expression of praise to the Vicar of Christ and Ruler of the Vatican following that historic speech: “awesome speech, Pope.” Where did we find this guy? Yeesh.

  3. The incident in the post took place in Gaza, territory from which Israel unilaterally withdrew. Immediately Israel came under constant bombardment by rockets and has used great restraint in response, trying to avoid harm to civilians used as shields by Hamas. The Reuters photographer is considered a shahid, and the incident, which is being investigated, follows the killing of 3 IDF soldiers. Reuters is notorious for fauxtography and bias when it comes to Israel.

    Mespo, it doesn’t look like Israel-haters will allow for “several generations before peace comes.” And, btw, the U.S. is most definitely not acting in the interest of Israeli land rights or security. McCain will continue Bush/Condi’s approach, as Middle East envoy Gen. James Jones is his very close friend who will play a key role in any McCain administration.

  4. In case anyone else visits this thread, I’ll set the record straight on JR’s post.

    1. “The Palestinian Mandate was offered as a homeland [for Jews]”

    Offered by whom? Certainly not the indigenous people, who were not consulted or represented by the UN. Also, the UN partition plan approved by the General Assembly was not binding; it was not considered by the Security Council because Truman did not want to use troops to enforce it. Israel declared itself a state on the basis of the resolution, and the UN did nothing. It’s been that way ever since – Israel ignores countless UN resolutions re its treatment of Palestinians, and ignores worldwide condemnation re the settlements.

    2. Even if you accept the idea that the Jews deserve a homeland to protect themselves, this certainly does not justify commiting another crime against humanity (forced transfer of population, mass murder, among other crimes) to create that new Jewish State.

    3. There is no such thing as Zionist-Lite, or soft Zionism and hard Zionism. If you believe the land of historic Palestine now belongs to Jews and Palestinian refugees have no right to return there despite UN resolutions and despite obvious moral questions, then you advocate the continuation of the initial crimes.

    4. If you take the view that it’s too late now for Palesitnians to return after 6 decades, then you must also oppose Jewish immigration to Israel based on a far more spurious exile 2000 years ago.

    5. The genesis of Zionism did not occur after WWII, but in the late 1800’s and the Arabs revolted against each wave of Zionist immigration. (I guess you mean to draw a distinction with “modern” Zionism).

    6. The primary motivation for Palestinians is to retain or return to their home. To call land and water side issues is absurd. Land Jerusalem, and return are the core issues. They seek justice through the return of their home. Or rather 28% of it for a majority of Palestinians. They do not want monetary restitution.

    7. Better treatment of refugees in their host countries is important, of course. But many still want to return, or want the choice to return. Palestinians would appreciate Arab unity, but I don’t think respect from Arabs is a “core issue”.

    8. Your characterization of both sides as extremist: the majority of Israelis and Palestinians want the 2 state solution. To characterize that as extremist is ridiculous since the Palestinians cede most of their historic home by it.

    9. Your statement: they seek a fair restitution for WHAT THEY PERCEIVE as the theft of their lands. No, it is not a perception. You cannot wish away the forced transfer of 800,000 Palestinians from the land in 1948. They lived on the land and they were removed, and that is what matters as far as international law is concerned. The fact that they were unable to gain independence from the British is no justification for denying them the right not to be driven from their homes.

    10. Neither side is fighting for revenge. They are fighting for land (and to live peacefully on that land).

  5. By the way, Mespo, I don’t expend very much energy any more trying to convince Americans of anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it requires counteracting decades of hasbara in US mainstream media, and is almost always dismissed and rationalized by the listener as “biased.”

    If you really want to learn more, however, you should start reading British and Israeli media (liberal in the case of Israel) to understand why public opinion outside the US is overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian. The Guardian, the Independent, Haaretz, and BBC for instance. I assume you don’t speak other languages. Forget about Al Jazeera English because it now serves Saudi and Western interests and is almost as bad as the New York Times.

  6. VC:

    I agree that its not some ancient grudge and is all about economics and land rights. I also agree that US support is not unending. I am hopeful the parties will be incentivized to bargain, but I think it will be several generations before peace comes.

  7. I’ve never said or implied anything about mutual destruction. Only the commenters here are painting the dispute as some irrational ancient grudge, when it’s really about land and racial demographics.

    I’m merely suggesting Israel has no desire or incentive to make peace at the moment, unless you consider the current prison-state solution a peaceful one. If the US stopped financing the occupation – and I wouldn’t count on eternal US support if the dollar continues to collapse, the Fed continues to inflate and an inflationary depression results, as mainstream economists are predicting – then assuming Israel is not run by fanatics (an open question), the leaders might then be willing to end the occupation. But they are not sincere negotiators now.

    Besides, Israel has one of the most powerful militaries in the MIddle East and the world (including 300 odd nuclear warheads?), the Palestinians have no army at all. It’s hardly on the verge of imminent destruction.

  8. VC:

    “The conflict won’t end by making you see reason.”

    Agreed but mutual assured destruction is not a strategy either. Hoping the US will change its policy doesn’t seem too likely either. It’s like hoping the wife’s best friend will change allegiance to the husband in a divorce. The best strategy is for the parties to work it out, and if that doesn’t work, the resolution must be externally enforce. That usually leaves both parties firmly convinced they got the worst end of the deal.

  9. The conflict won’t end by making you see reason. It may end, however, when America can no longer afford its current foreign policy. Without the US, Israel doesn’t have a friend in the world.

  10. VC:

    Rather, I think the proponent of an idea must rationally convince his audience or be ignored by it.

  11. Yes, the native must complain happily and politely to be “heard” by the “civilized” colonist, but he will still be ignored in any event.

  12. very concerned:

    I appreciate your passion, but all you have proven is the sincerity of your belief in your assertions. Undoubtedly atrocities have occurred on both sides but a resort to ad hominen attacks and appeals to emotions are beneath your usual writing style and frankly unpersuasive.

    As you know, I am decidedly neutral on the subject because I know so little about it, but I do confess to some sympathy for the Palestinians’ plight. Further, I do appreciate your attempts to explain the case from your perspective but as we all know in conflicts such as these we have only a choice between genocide and conversation. Is it not true that your argument is for the former if the latter is difficult to obtain?

  13. Yes, there are two sides. One is the colonist, the other the native. One is the oppressor, the other the oppressed. One is the perpetrator, the other the victim. One is fighting for basic human rights, the other to deny those rights.

    Both sides are suffering? How many Israelis are rotting in Palesitnians jails without judicial process, including women and children? How many Isarelis have had their homes destroyed? How many pregnant Israeli women die at checkpoints because a capricious Palestinian refuses to let her through? How many Israelis are tortured in Palestinian jails? How many killed in random extrajudicial assassinations? How many Israeli towns are encircled by a wall with one checkpoint, which may be closed for weeks, and is open for 15 minutes three times a day? How many Israelis died in this Second Intifada, and how many Palestinians?

    The Israeli has the Palestinian on the ground with his boot on his neck, and yet he is still suffering. Why will the Palestinian insist on resisting the theft of his land? Why will he not go away and stop tormenting the Jew, the world’s perpetual victim? Will he not accept the logic that Europe killed Jews and thus he must pay with his land as retribution?

  14. Incidentally, Nibbles, you have a damn-near textbook example of someone who’s “not comfortable with Israel” on this thread. I don’t like to call people stupid, but you’d have to be pretty stupid to think that someone is me and, given the fact that you can easily contrast my positions with that person’s, your comment belies either your trollish tendencies or your stupidity. Which is it, I wonder?

    (Incidentally, most liberal or reform Jews tend towards universalism but simply don’t self-identify as such. I consider my religious philosophy to be a pretty important fact for disclosure in this subject. I can only assume, Nibbles, that your denomination is one of those that thinks Israel needs to exist so that it can be destroyed later, so kindly spare us Chosen those brilliant flashes of insight about our motives KTHXBYE)

  15. As one who knows very little about the situation it does appears balanced and fair to me. One of the first things I learned about advocacy is that if I appeared to be totally one-sided and wild-eyed in my argument, everyone else stopped listening because in most conflicts there are two sides to the story. Failure to recognize that puts you in the camp of the fanatic and relinquishes your claim to legitimacy among those you intend on convincing.

  16. When the right-wing troll thinks I’m anti-Israel, and the left wing troll thinks I’m bullshitting for defending their right to exist, I know I’m in the sweet spot.

  17. Sounds to me like JR is not comfortable with Israel, why doesn’t that surprise me.

    “liberal Jewish Universalist”

    LOL! never heard of that one before……..

  18. JR:

    That is precisely the edifying response I was hoping for. I am truly a novice in this area, but like any rational person I was looking for a precis of the competing positions to assist my in understanding. I thank you for your eloquence and the fairness of the presentation. It does appear to be case of irreconcilable differences, and to carry the analogy further, one that compels the parties to remain together in the same house. Perhaps it should be looked upon as a marital contract gone awry, and handled as such by the international community. As in a divorce when the parties have so much emotional and pecuniary investment in the relationship, it is difficult for them to see the way out other than incessant bickering. I would hope an international solution is workable since it appears that both sides have legitimate grievances at the hands of the other.

  19. I hate when threads that might actually provoke serious and insightful discussion of one of the most challenging issues of our lifetimes get dominated by the two extremes and those who fall anywhere between get shut out.

    Mespo, as a liberal Jewish Universalist who’s done some work on Middle Eastern politics I can give you a slightly informed (though hadly authoritative) response. The answers you seem to be looking for are partly found in competing desires for security, revenge, justice, land, restitution, and survival.

    For Jews, we have no homeland other than Israel. Without a Jewish state, there can be no real international diplomatic protections, no serious defense of the religion from future attempts at annihilation, and no means of preserving the right of one of the most persecuted and hunted religions in world history to practice. The Palestinian Mandate was offered as a homeland at a time when a 5,000 year-old religion stood quite literally on the brink of complete destruction, and those who settled there committed themselves to never, ever allow anything to threaten the survival of the faith. That was the genesis of modern Zionism: find a shelter and hold onto it with every fiber.

    For some, that came to foster a dangerous fundamentalism that is sometimes conflated with Zionism but might best be described as a form of Jewish supremacy (the ideology that led to the expansion of settlements and the refusal to leave them under orders from the government, as well as the assassination of Yitzak Rabin). It’s similar in some ways to the fanaticism that led to Gandhi’s murder–a minority religious perspective that elevates the faith to a supreme status in all matters of law and politics and mandates that any attempts to stifle the religion’s growth be attacked. Modern Israeli politics is heavily affected by the presence of this fundamentalism as a political force, much like, say, the government of Salt Lake City might be ostensibly secular but nobody thinks for a second that religious motivations aren’t the 900 pound gorilla in the room. The same factors affect Palestinian Authority politics even more heavily.

    For many Palestinian Arabs, the primary motivation in this conflict is justice. First, they seek a fair restitution for what they perceive as the theft of their lands, first by the British and then by the Jews. Second, they seek a measure of respect from the rest of the Arab countries, many of whom seem to have preferred to use the Palestinians as a political tool rather than actually work to help them achieve substantially better lives (few Arab countries will accept Palestinian refugees, and many look down on them as a lower class–one of my dearest friends from college was a Palestinian Jordanian who dealt with this condescension personally back home).

    Beyond those core issues are the ones that are more peripheral as far as the conflict itself is concerned, but which have still affected opportunities for negotiation and reconciliation. Land and water issues are big problems (as you noted, much of the country – though certainly not all – is incredibly poor terrain, so the fallow or irrigatable parts are that much more important), as is territorial control of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Both sides have suffered major losses, so both sides have hard-liners bent on exacting as high a toll in revenge as possible. Both sides have political factions hell-bent on a Bush-like concept of “victory”–unconditional surrender of the other side–but, much like with Bush in Iraq, no clear, solidified foe to “defeat.”

    If this were a marriage, we would say it’s suffered “irreconcilable differences.” But since millions of lives, a major religion and some of the most sacred sites on earth are in the balance, the sides must somehow come back together and make it work. That will ultimately require having a negotiator (almost certainly a US president, since nobody else has enough leverage with the Israelis) who sees himself (or herself) more as a marriage counselor there to help a reconciliation than as a buddy of one of the spouses who reflexively sides with one over the other.

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