Israeli gunfire threatens reporter

The BBC is lodging an official complaint with the Israeli Government after its Middle East correspondent Orla Guerin came under Israeli gunfire while filming a peace protest on the West Bank.

Representations are also being made by the Foreign Press Association in protest at the growing number of journalists who have come under gunfire in recent weeks.

A BBC spokesman said Guerin was filming with a crew in Bethlehem this week and they put their hands in the air when the shooting began.

"They were shooting very close on either side. Orla was pinned to the car before they let her go," he said.

The BBC’s news editor, Jonathan Baker, said the incident was "part of series in recent weeks which have prompted suspicions that the Israeli authorities are prepared to take ever-stronger measures to discourage media organisations from reporting what’s happening in the occupied territories.

Baker added that the "possibility that the Israelis were willing to target their fire at journalists, by way of warning or otherwise," increased the dangers faced by news crews.

Eleven journalists have reported coming under fire and three have been injured since Ramallah was declared a "closed military zone" following the Israeli occupation.

Reporters Sans Frontieres and the International Federation of Journalists have condemned the press ban.


By Julie Tomlin

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