Fadel Shana'a (1984/1985–16 April 2008) was a Palestinian journalist working as a cameraman for Reuters. He was killed, along with eight other noncombatants, by a flechette shell fired by an Israeli tank in the Gaza Strip.
Shana'a's video footage shows the tank firing and a glimpse of the incoming shell before going black at the moment of impact. Reuters chief David Schlesinger called for an investigation, as did Human Rights Watch, whose Middle East director stated, "Israeli soldiers did not make sure they were aiming at a military target before firing, and there is evidence suggesting they actually targeted the journalists. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights denounced the killing as a deliberate war crime. Israel released a statement saying "The IDF wishes to emphasize that unlike terrorist organizations, not only does it not deliberately target uninvolved civilians, it also uses means to avoid such incidents...Reports claiming the opposite are false and misleading." On 13 August it was reported that the IDF had closed an investigation into the death of Fadel Shana'a, Reuters cameraman, without taking disciplinary action against the tank crew that killed him.
The army found that troops acted properly when they opened fire on Fadel Shana'a, suspecting he was a terrorist preparing to fire a missile after he set up a tripod in a Gaza battle zone. Shana'a was killed instantly by a tank shell that sprayed a hail of metal darts at its target, a press marked vehicle. Four bystanders also died in the attack.
"In light of the reasonable conclusion reached by the tank crew and its superiors, that the characters were hostile and were carrying an object most likely to be a weapon, the decision to fire at the targets ... was sound," Brig. Gen. Avihai Mandelblit, the IDF's top prosecutor, said in a letter sent to Reuters. "I'm extremely disappointed that this report condones a disproportionate use of deadly force in a situation the army itself admitted had not been analyzed clearly," said David Schlesinger, Reuters' editor in chief. "They would appear to take the view that any raising of a camera into position could garner a deadly response."
- Reuters Reuters cameraman killed in Gaza
- Reuters Israel: Investigate Death of Gaza Civilians
- Israel: Investigate Death of Gaza Civilians
- JTA: IDF probes cameraman's death
- Jpost 13 August 2008 IDF clears troops in journalist's death Associated Press