Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rights group: IDF must ban shell that killed cameraman in Gaza

"An investigation into the death of a Palestinian cameraman who was killed Wednesday in the Gaza Strip revealed that he had been hit by a Flechette shell fired from an Israel Defense Forces tank, prompting the human rights group B'Tselem to reiterate their demand to discontinue the use of this fatal type of munition.

The Flechette shell explodes in the air and releases thousands of metal darts which disperse in a conical arch three hundred meters long and some ninety meters wide. The use of this type of shell increases the likelihood that someone other than the target will be hit by the shell's darts, thus endangering innocent civilians.

Fadel Shana, 23, was working for the news agency Reuters filming Israeli tanks when he was killed. Two other Palestinian civilians were also killed in the same incident.

In a statement, B'Tselem demanded Thursday that the Military Advocate General "immediately issue instructions to suspend the use of this deplorable form of munition in the Gaza Strip, and launch a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident." The human rights organization maintains that over the past seven years, at least 18 Palestinians were killed by Flechette shells in the Gaza Strip, and at least 11 of them were civilians. ........"

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