IDF to probe Reuters cameraman's death

HRW: Investigation showed that IDF shot at Fadel Shana'a; B'Tselem calls to ban Flechette shells.

The IDF announced on Sunday that it will investigate the death of a Reuters TV cameraman, who was killed along with five others by an IDF tank shell in the Gaza Strip last week. "The IDF is conducting a field investigation to look into the claims regarding the circumstances of the death of a Reuters cameraman," a statement issued by the army read. "The IDF similarly investigates every claim regarding uninvolved civilians hurt in fighting areas." In accordance with IDF policy, the field investigation will be reviewed by the Military Advocate General. On Saturday, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch said in a statement that its own investigation suggests that an IDF tank crew fired either recklessly or deliberately at cameraman Fadel Shana'a and three others standing near him. On Thursday, the Israeli rights group B'Tselem released a report that Shana'a was killed by a Flechette shell, based upon the results of the slain photojournalist's autopsy. B'Tselem is demanding that the IDF's Judge Advocate General immediately prohibit the use of the Flechette-based weapons system. The Flechette shell is an anti-personnel weapon generally fired from a tank, which explodes in the air and releases thousands of small metal darts, which disperse in a conical arch of approximately 300 by 90 meters. B'Tselem claimed that circumstances in the Gaza Strip render the use of Flechette shells illegal due to the wide dispersal area of the darts which, when used in populated areas, constitutes a type of indiscriminate firing, and thereby endangers innocent civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law. Warning: Graphic images.