A CNN analysis suggests that an Israeli tank fired the deadly attack in October that killed Reuters journalist Yaser Murtaja. The analysis was conducted after Murtaja was killed while documenting clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along the Gaza-Israel border.
The report takes a deeper look into the incident, stating that Israeli forces located on the border were responsible for the attack. The details of the analysis and the events leading up to the attack are troubling and point to the dangerous and often fatal consequences of being a journalist in war-torn countries.
Murtaja, a 30-year-old photojournalist and father of a young son, was wearing a flak jacket when he was struck in the abdomen. Witnesses on the scene said that he was shot in an area far from the protest, suggesting that Israeli forces deliberately targeted him due to his profession.
The CNN analysis reviews multiple accounts from the scene, as well as accounts from surveillance footage, in order to draw conclusions. It eventually concluded that a tank shot Murtaja, although there is no way to identify who fired the shot.
The analysis concluded that Murtaja was likely targeted because of his profession, which is a sentiment echoed by journalists and activists, who see the attack as evidence that war correspondents are not safe even when they take every precaution to make sure they are identifiable as members of the media.
The events of October have sparked international condemnation of the actions of Israeli forces, and the investigation into Murtaja’s death should serve as a reminder to all war journalists of the real risk they take when they document conflicts.