Journalist, five others killed in Gaza blast

Published August 14, 2014
Victims of  Israeli ordnance detonated in Gaza, Ali Shehda Abu Afash and Simone Camilli.— Photo by AP
Victims of Israeli ordnance detonated in Gaza, Ali Shehda Abu Afash and Simone Camilli.— Photo by AP

GAZA CITY: Five Palestinians and an Italian journalist were killed in Gaza on Wednesday when Israeli ordnance detonated as experts tried to disable it just hours before the end of a 72-hour truce.

The blast occurred in the northern town of Beit Lahiya as Egyptian mediators scrambled to persuade Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to extend a three-day ceasefire, which expired midnight on Wednesday.

Without agreement on an extension or a long-term truce, the two sides risk a resumption of the deadly fighting, which began on July 8.

The AP news agency confirmed that one of its journalists and a freelance Palestinian translator had been killed in the blast, identifying them as Simone Camilli, a 35-year-old cameraman from Italy, and Ali Shehda Abu Afash, 36.

Know more: Israel targeting journalists, says CPJ

Camilli is the first foreign journalist die in the violence in Gaza, which has killed more than 1,950 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side.

Deadline looms: As the night fell on three days of calm in and around Gaza and with no concrete word on the talks in Cairo, both sides were readying for a possible resumption of hostilities as the midnight deadline drew closer.

“We have already sacrified 64 men and it is possible we may have to sacrifice more,” Israel’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said at a military ceremony on Wednesday evening, his remarks broadcast on army radio.

“It is possible that the operation is not ended and is not completed,” he said.

And on the ground in Gaza, many were concerned that violence would resume.

“We’re all worried, it’s natural,” said Hussein Abu Haseera, sitting outside his air conditioning shop in Gaza City’s Rimal neighbourhood.

“We want this to be finished, for the blockade to be lifted. No one likes dying do they? “In Cairo, the truce talks at the General Intelligence headquarters were expected to run until late as Egyptian mediators raced to bridge the gaps between the two sides.

By the time the deadline passes, the two sides must have agreed on a permanent ceasefire, accepted an extension of the truce or risk a resumption of more than a month of bloody fighting.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2014

Opinion

Editorial

The fall guy
Updated 18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

Maryam’s public distancing from Miftah over recent fuel price hike is quite uncalled for.
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...
No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...