The Israeli tank crew who killed Shana in the Gaza Strip four months ago will not face legal action as a result of the investigation.
Troops could not determine whether Shana, who had covered events in Gaza for Reuters for three years, was carrying a camera or a weapon, but were ‘nonetheless justified’ in firing the shell, a letter from Israel’s senior military advocate-general to the news agency said.
“I’m extremely disappointed that this report condones a disproportionate use of deadly force in a situation the army itself admitted had not been analysed clearly. They would appear to take the view that any raising of a camera into position could garner a deadly response,” said David Schlesinger, Reuters editor-in-chief, in a press statement.
Reuters has responded to the findings with a letter to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) asking why the tank crew did not attempt to find out if Shana was a cameraman as his blue flak jacket marked ‘PRESS’ suggested.
According to the army, the troops could not see this sign.
“These findings mean that a journalist with a camera is at risk of coming under fire and there’s not that much that can be done. That’s unacceptable. It’s difficult to believe (…) that the IDF took the necessary precautions to avoid causing harm to civilians – as it is obliged to do under international law,” said Joel Campagna from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The video from Reuters below shows the last seconds of footage shot by Shana before his death: