British television journalist James Miller died after being shot by Israeli troops in the southern town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli army spokesman expressed “regret” at the death, but pointed out that the man had “taken great risks by being in a virtual war zone.”
Miller, 35, was hit as he was filming a stand-up segment as part of a documentary he was making on the army’s destruction of hundreds of homes of militants in the Palestinian territories.
A photo handed out May 3, 2003 shows freelance British cameraman James Miller a day before he was killed by Israeli gunfire in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.
He was struck in the back of the neck, said Ali Mussa, director of the hospital in Rafah, near the Israeli-Egyptian border. After receiving first aid at an army post near where the shooting took place, Miller was evacuated to the Soroka hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba by an army helicopter, military officials told AFP.
They said Israeli soldiers were operating in the area to bust a weapons smuggling ring operating from Egypt to the Palestinian sector.
The Israeli troops were in a house close to the border, where they had found a tunnel exit, when they came under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. After returning fire the soldiers searched the area and came across a woman waving a white flag and who pointed out the journalist lying wounded in the street.
His death brings to 3,207 the number of people killed since the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, broke out in September 2000, including 2,419 Palestinians and 729 Israelis.
He is also the fourth journalist killed by Israeli troops during that period.
The most recent death was that of Nazeh Daruwazi, a 42-year-old cameraman for the US news agency Associated Press, killed as he was covering clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus.
On March 16, a 23-year-old peace activist from the United States was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she was acting as a human shield to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian house.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Friday that authorities are considering expelling foreign peace activists acting as human shields.
Top Israeli brass and foreign ministry officials met this week to discuss the means of expelling the activists, the newspaper reported. A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed that meetings had been held but said no decision had yet been reached.
“We discussed the issue of these so-called pacifists, who are in closed military zones where they are not allowed and are putting their own lives at risk,” the spokesman told AFP.
Published on Saturday, May 3, 2003 by the Agence France Presse