Over one month ago the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) fired on Palestinian cameraman Imad Ghanem, shooting repeatedly at both of his legs as he lay defenseless and unarmed on the ground.  Since that attack—one of Israel’s many bloody attacks on the Gaza Strip—this past July, Ghanem has been waiting for justice and medical rehabilitation. 

Reporters Without Borders Friday called for the results of the investigation into the multi-wound shooting to be published.  

Ghanem, whose legs had to be amputated as a result of the shooting, is meanwhile waiting for permission to leave the Strip to go to Egypt to be fitted with artificial legs.  But this has been very difficult so far, due to the over two-month long Rafah border closing: no humanitarian cases are allowed in or out of the Gaza Strip.  

“The only reaction from the Israeli authorities to our initial request for information, the day after the shooting, was to say that the origin of the shots could not be identified in the footage available, and to claim that Ghanem was ‘working among the terrorists’,” the organization for press freedom said. “We have not yet received a response from the Israeli government to our request for a thorough investigation.”    Reporters Without Borders added: “Ghanem, meanwhile, needs help. He is still waiting for a chance to travel to Egypt to be given prosthetic limbs. He also needs re-education sessions in order to be able to live normally and go back to work. We call on the Israeli and Egyptian authorities who control the Rafah crossing to act quickly so that he can receive the appropriate treatment.”  

Ghanem, who was working for Al Aqsa TV, was seriously injured by the IOF army fire while covering an incursion to the east of the Al Bureij refugee camp in the middle of Gaza Strip, during which at least 12 Palestinians were killed.  Although he was not wearing any item of clothing that said “Press” or “TV,” he was carrying a TV camera and he was with a number of fellow journalists.  

Ghanem told Reporters Without Borders yesterday that the Israeli authorities have not tried to contact him for his version of what happened.  He explained that he was not wearing any sign identifying him as a journalist because he did not have time to go to the TV station. “I went directly to the scene of the clashes, which were taking place near my home,” he said. “I did not want to risk arriving too late,” he said from his reclining position, still waiting—without any possibility—to receive medication.  

Although the Association of Arab Doctors in Cairo has offered the immediate reception of Ghanem in Egypt for medication, including sponsorship by the association, Ghanem is no longer able to exit Gaza, even with the intervention of human rights organizations.   So Ghanem will have to wait.  A journalist struggling to get words and photos out to the rest of the world, he nonetheless has no recourse for exiting Gaza: his journalist status will not help him.  It might even make him more of a target, putting his life in danger as he reveals the truth, as is the case with many other Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.


Mike James assaulted, leaving Germany

Mike James – August 7, 2007 23.00pm

Last night I was attacked by three guys close to the junction of the Bockenheimer Lanstrassse and the Siesmayerstrasse (where I used to live with my ex-Frau, Helen). I have reason to believe that they meant to kill me for what I have written in defence of Ernst Zundel.

To cut a long story short, (and I have to because my hand is swollen) I've been fighting a long secret war with the German government these last 18 months over the Zundel Affair. I'm losing. I'm getting death threats again (2006-2007) phone rings, just breathing but I recognise the pattern. I'm at my wit's end.

The government does not intend to harm me. They know they (legally) cannot touch me because I confront them with the truth.

The guys who came at me last night tried to:

a) slash my throat,

b) remove my fingers.

There were three of them. The guy in the middle came at me with a knife and another who leaped a car came at me with pliers. There was also a third who tried to strangle me.

The one with the knife shouted "Nazi".

They also spoke French. I know French when I hear it.

I am 47 years old and not in the best of health. I am just an ordinary Englishman; I have no military training apart from four years in the Cub Scouts and three years skiving off rugby (and spending every Saturday morning in detention as a result).

Somehow, God help me, I put three young men in hospital last night.

They destroyed my spectacles and my right hand and also caused me to lose my briefcase with around 200 euros and a two pairs of Peek & Kloppenburg boxer shorts. But two of them need remedial dental treatment and the guy with the knife needs a new nose.

I have reported this to the police as a murder attempt (the second in 1997, the Brits tried to take me out prior to my investigations in Kenya). I have to leave Germany. I need to pull all of my URLs published at Rense, TTS, and GLF (and Lew Rockwell, Onlinejournal, etc). I'm thinking of going to Switzerland. Please pull everything I have written. If you need URLs, I'll supply them.

This message has taken me almost 120 minutes to write. Every fucking letter is causing me enormous pain. Please remove all my online work.

I'll be in touch.


Media Worker Death Toll Reaches 200

Report, Reporters Without Borders, Sep 7, 2007

An Iraqi translator for a United States' television network has been found dead in Iraq, bringing the number of journalists and media workers killed in the country since the start of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 to 200, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontieres, RSF) reports.Anwar Abbas Lafta, an Iraqi translator and interpreter for CBS News, was found dead on 25 August in eastern Baghdad, five days after he was abducted.He was kidnapped by a group of 10 gunmen who forced their way into his Baghdad home on 20 August, beat his brother and shot and wounded his sister, RSF says. Anwar Abbas was the only one that was apprehended. CBS News said his abductors contacted the family several times to demand a ransom. The police eventually found his body in the eastern Baghdad district of Sadr City.

According to RSF, 73 percent of journalists killed in Iraq were directly targeted - "much higher than in previous wars in which journalists were above all the victims of collateral damage and stray bullets," RSF says.Eighty-eight per cent of journalists and media workers killed were Iraqis, often those who work for foreign news media.

Most of the 200 media fatalities took place in Baghdad (110 cases) or near the capital (34 cases), says RSF. The remaining cases were mostly centred in the north of the country, especially in Mosul and Kirkuk.More journalists are also taken hostage in Iraq than anywhere else in the world, says RSF. A total of 84 journalists and media workers (64 per cent of them Iraqis) have been kidnapped there in the past four years. Only about half of them were freed. Fourteen are still being held by their abductors.

shocking record of some of these deaths:

Charges dropped against detained Iraqi media workers
Statement, Committee to Protect Journalists (Aug 8, 2007)
The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Monday's decision by a criminal court in Baghdad to dismiss the charge of incitement to terror against 11 current and former employees of the independent Iraqi production company Wasan Media. GO

Tribute to Arif Ali Flaih
Susanne Fischer, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (Jul 13, 2007)
Violence has claimed IWPR reporter who helped establish a ground-breaking radio show on women's issues. He loved to speak French. When Ari Ali Flaih, 32, first arrived at the IWPR training center in Sulaimaniyah, he immediately tried out the international trainers' French. He had never been to France, but he was in love with the language and the country. Flaih will never go to France. He was killed by a roadside bomb on June 11, 2007, when he was driving from Khalis to Hibhib, eight kilometers northwest of Baquba in the province of Diyala. GO

Kidnappers murder editor of daily "al-Sabah"
Statement, Reproters Without Borders (Jun 19, 2007)
Reporters Without Borders has voiced deep outrage at the murder of Filaih Wadi Mijthab, editor of the daily "al-Sabah", whom kidnappers snatched from his car on 13 June 2007 as he was driving to work. His body was found near a mosque in Sadr City, one of nine Baghdad suburbs, on 15 June. It appeared he had been "executed" the previous evening. GO

Four journalists killed in less than a week by armed groups
Statement, Reporters Without Borders (Jun 5, 2007)
Reporters Without Borders has voiced deep shock at the murders of four Iraqi journalists by armed groups within a space of five days. The body of a local TV station employee was found in the boot of his car in the northern city of Kirkuk on 26 May 2007. A Turkmen journalist was killed in Kirkuk on 28 May. Gunmen burst into the home of a journalism teacher and contributor to several media outlets in Amariyah, near Fallujah, on 29 May, killing him and seven members of his family. A Shiite journalist was fatally shot on 30 May in the southern town of Amara. GO

Journalists Face Repression on All Sides
Mohammed A. Salih, Electronic Iraq (May 23, 2007)
The working environment for Iraq's journalists is becoming increasingly dangerous and difficult, with 31 killed just since the start of this year, according to the International Federation of Journalists. GO

Journalist found dead in Baghdad; US army raids offices of Shi'ite daily
Statement, Reporters Without Borders (May 23, 2007)
Reporters Without Borders has condemned the 20 May 2007 murder in Baghdad of Ali Khalil, of the daily "al-Zaman" ("Time"), and the kidnapping on 9 May of the journalist Salam Duhi al-Sudani. GO