The Ghost of Snapped Shot

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Palestinian Fauxtography? (BUMPED)

Welcome, Spectator readers and fellow Melanie Phillips fans!

For more information about the references she makes here, please see my followup article. And, if you like what you see here, feel free to subscribe to my feed—I'd love to hear what you think of the craziness that goes on over on this silly website. And if you ever see anything else that looks odd, be sure to let me know about it. We love covering photojournalism over here. One frame at a time!

Final Update on Tank Round: The mystery of the fired round is solved, courtesy "Faux" News?

I'm not sure what my Lightstalking friends are going to think about that little twist, but this is pretty convincing evidence.

I still think the questions regarding what he was doing there and what exactly the IDF was firing at need to be addressed, but this definitely seems to answer any controversy surrounding the circumstances of his death, as the other videos answered the controversy surrounding the "strange" sequence of the wire photos.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

Interjection: I think the question that forest asks of our Lightstalkers is important enough to highlight here. He asks, to wit:—

The discussion at Lightstalkers is pretty interesting. I wonder if there could ever be a situation where some of those people would consider that a journalist might have been a bit too chummy with terrorists? Or may actually be a terrorist armed with a camera instead of a gun? I think it's a mindset where advocacy journalism is accepted in place of old fashioned journalistic standards of impartiality.

If they want to advocate, they should get out of professional journalism and start a blog or something.

The highlighted portion is particularly interesting. After all, if professional journalists "embed" themselves with terrorist forces that in the best cases wear no formal uniform—and in the worst, play "dress up"—should we really be surprised if they are eventually mistaken as being a terrorist?Update: The Israeli Defence Forces are denying responsibility for Fadel's death:

An Israeli military official expressed sorrow but said the IDF did not accept responsibility for the killing. The official said that Israeli forces had only fired at armed militants who were shooting at them from close range. It did not know what kind of missile had struck the press vehicle, and it was unaware of reports of a second attack minutes later. The incident is being investigated, the official said.

Journalists had been drawn to the area to cover the aftermath of a bloody air-strike launched in support of Israeli armoured troops, who had crossed into Gaza in the wake of a Hamas ambush which killed three soldiers. Survivors said three militants died along with at least six others - a woman, two children and three members of a non-violent Islamic sect - when Israeli aerial missiles struck a mosque and houses in the hamlet of Johara a'diq, near Bureij in central Gaza.

This definitely bolsters the claim that Shana was in close proximity to a Hamas rocket squad, which the tank was directly aiming for. Whether or not this is true, I would hope that the IDF will make all evidence from their investigation public, so that we can all see the truth surrounding this tragic incident, no matter what the conclusion.

I also hope that the press would learn a valuable lesson from this, and perhaps take the time to think twice about whether they really need to be sending journalists out with openly hostile terrorists.

After all, it's not like the same terrorists are above using human shields.

Should our press agencies really be in the business of providing them?


[Ed.:—What follows is the original story. I have rearranged the content so that it is in standard chronological order. Hopefully, this will make it a bit easier to read!]

Reader Jordan B. writes in regarding the death of Reuters videographer Fadal Shanaa yesterday, pointing out some very interesting discrepancies with the photographic report.

NOTE: Because this will require the visual inspection of the evidence, I am electing to post a limited set of Associated Press photographs here. I do respect the AP's Copyrights, and have no intention of raising their ire once more, but think that a full discussion of the inconsistencies in this photo series would be nearly impossible without being able to reference the images directly. As always, if any of the wire service legal departments have any problem with this policy, contact me immediately, and I will take the appropriate corrective action.

With the disclaimer out of the way, allow me to relay what Jordan found. In the first picture, Jordan points out:

An ambulance passes by the burning vehicle of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana after he was killed in Gaza April 16, 2008. REUTERS/Yassir Qdeah (GAZA)

In the second photo:

A firefighter shouts near the burning vehicle of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana after he was killed in Gaza April 16, 2008. A Reuters cameraman and two other Palestinian civilians were killed on Wednesday in what local residents said was an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip. Shana, 23, was covering violence in the enclave for the London-based international news agency. REUTERS/Yassir Qdeah (GAZA)

  • No bodies on the ground
  • Car on fire
  • Firefighters on scene, no water in hose
  • No ambulance in frame

  • In the third picture:

    Firefighters hose down the car of Reuters news agency cameraman Fadal Shana after an Israeli strike in southeast Gaza City, which killed Shana and two bystanders Wednesday, April 16, 2008. Israel struck hard against targets in Gaza on Wednesday, killing at least 20 Palestinians in a day of heavy fighting that also saw three Israeli soldiers killed in a brazen Hamas ambush. (AP Photo/Wissam Nassar)

  • No bodies on the ground
  • Car on fire
  • Firefighters on scene, still no water
  • No ambulance in frame

  • Finally, in the last photo:

    A medic tries to lift a body of a Palestinian boy as the body of Fadel Shana, a 23-year-old Palestinian cameraman for the Reuters news agency lies on the ground at right moments after an Israeli strike hit the area in southeast Gaza City Wednesday, April 16, 2008. Israel struck hard against targets in Gaza on Wednesday, killing at least 20 Palestinians in a day of heavy fighting that also saw three Israeli soldiers killed in a brazen Hamas ambush. (AP Photo/Wissam Nassar)

  • Bodies on ground
  • Fire is out
  • Firefighters still on scene
  • Ambulance has returned?

  • Thanks again to Jordan for catching this interesting situation. If it weren't for the fire in the background, I would've written this off as misreading the timing of the photographs—something that I've been guilty of myself. But, when you look at the position of the bodies on the scene, and compare that to the state of the fire in the background, something clearly doesn't add up here.

    That being said, the death of Fadal Shanaa is still tragic, and I do offer my condolences to his family. As the Elder said yesterday, it's entirely possible that this unfortunate soul was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, considering the evidence above, it's also entirely possible that there's another explanation for this. Especially considering the locals' reaction to his passing.

    My stink-o-meter is running 75% on this one. What's yours reading?

    (Can you believe we actually get to do some actual photojournalism criticism over here this morning? How exciting!)

    Update: The intrigue here is multiplying fairly quickly. Fadel is being given a martyr's funeral by the local terrorists today. At the very least, they considered him to be a valuable ally (as pointed out by The Elder yesterday). But, based on these same terrorists' prior performances, I'm starting to lean towards there being some kind of problem with the "official" storyline here.

    Also, according to the latest captions, Fadel was killed by:

    Palestinians attend the funeral of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana, 23, in Gaza City April 17, 2008. Shana was covering events in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for Reuters on a day of intense violence when 16 other Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were also killed. A medical examination showed on Thursday that metal darts from an Israeli tank shell that explodes in the air caused the death of Shana on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip, doctors said. REUTERS/Said Khatib/Pool (GAZA)

    This does not add up with the photographic evidence, and I would wonder if the only doctors being interviewed here are sympathetic to the terrorists' cause.

    Also, why was the car totally blown up if the ordnance in question only detonates mid-air?

    Is it possible that Fadel was killed by a mis-fired anti-tank round? Based on the evidence, it sure looks like a possibility to me...

    Full slideshow is here for your reference, courtesy Yahoo.

    Update x2: Another angle of the fire scene, courtesy AFP. The ambulance is at the extreme left of the frame, and no bodies or water are evident on the ground.

    Update x3: Anonymous points to the video report of these events provided by Reuters, which shows that the bodies were picked up by ambulance [i]before[/i] the car caught fire. See my commentary in response to this video—While it does clear up the photographic evidence, there are still some lingering questions that I'd love to see addressed. Here's the Reuters video:

    Déjà Vu: Aussie Dave helpfully points out that Fadel Shana was one of the photojournalists injured in this 2006 incident where the IDF was also accused on firing on a journalist vehicle.

    Perhaps there is more to our theory that Shana was associating a bit too closely with Hamas militants?

    All I can say is:

    "Oh carp!"

    Update: Our good Lightstalkers are already beginning to tell the predictable story.

    Oh brother.

    For the record, I am inclined at this point to agree with Killgore Trout 100% on this one:

    We discussed this yesterday. Snapped shot has the right idea but their analysis is a bit off. Here is Fadel's body with his car in the background. It's smoldering a bit but it's not on fire. After they remove the body then the car bursts into flames. Notice only the interior of the car iis burning, this isn't a gas fire from leaking fuel. Not even the tires are burning. Then they put out the fire and hose down the scene. I think they set the fire in the car to destroy possible evidence and hosed down the scene for the same reason.

    Thanks for the succinct analysis, KT!

    Line of the day: "It sucks to be a thug hugger," courtesy song_and_dance_man. Sums it all up rather well, I'd say!

     Tags: fadel shana wissam nassar yassir qdeah AP REUTERS #Intifada


    #1 DMartyr 17-Apr-2008
    It's hard to tell because the picture size is so small, but are these two wounded people linked below the same as these two dead being carted away in the picture above?

    Also, the shadows in the picture with the bodies looks later in the day than in the first photos...
    (Number 53 in the slideshow)
    #2 captainfish 17-Apr-2008
    If you look carefully at that last photo Brian, just to the left of the ambulance (ambulance's right side) you will see another medic. He is MANHANDLING a person to the rear of the ambulance.

    He is carrying the person like one would carry a medical dummy. He has a hold of the belt and, presumably, the head?

    DMartyr, no, I would say I dont think so.

    And you are right, the images seem odd.
    Then look at this one,
    now the number of dead is up to 18 pallies.

    shadows and fire tell all.
    #3 polprof 17-Apr-2008
    Last picture ought to be first, first picture comes next (blood stains seem to be consistent). The two middle pictures come last, after the accident site has been cleaned up (more or less); somebody thought a burning car would be more dramatic. The quality of the light in these two pictures seems the same, as is also the case with first and last.
    #4 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Apr-2008

    Thanks for the excellent analysis—So you're saying we're dealing with a "mysterious" re-igniting car?

    There are still some inconsistencies reading the photos that way, though. For example, if the fire were put out and then subsequently re-ignited, I would expect to see water around it in the frames where it's burning, no?

    (Heck, I'm not seeing *any* water on the ground in *any* of the pictures, until the firemen start spraying the blood off of the street. That's odd...)

    Re: quality of light, keep in mind that we're dealing with two wire agencies here, and that they are not both using the exact same cameras. Some difference in lighting is to be expected. The length of the shadows could possibly be an important reference point, though you'd have to pick something static, in case that the car had been moved at all.

    Thanks for the input! I look forward to hearing your further thoughts on this,

    #5 polprof 17-Apr-2008
    Dear Brian: Thanks for a kind reply that lets an amateur down gently. The lack of water is indeed very hard to understand. What kind of hit might have killed passengers but left the car as we see it? Were the bodies killed, or nearly killed, in the car and then moved, or killed fleeing the car? I look forward to the discussion among people who really know about such matters.
    #6 anonymous 17-Apr-2008
    Keep in mind that there are photos that news agencies cannot put on the wire, not because they are trying to hide something, but they are highly graphic. In a situation like this where someone has just been killed, news agencies have to be sensitive to the families of victims and also the readers in not showing something that is horribly violent. So the photos that show the movement of the bodies are omitted because those are very disturbing.

    News agencies shouldn't be expected to show the entire sequence just to appease conspiracy theorists , or bloggers who think that everything the media produces that makes Israel look bad is a lie. Even if they did, then you would criticise them for using highly disturbing photos for shock value, etc.

    I am not sure what you are trying to do by discrediting these photos. Even if the sequence of how the photos ended up on the wire does not add up in your head, nothing changes the fact that he WAS killed – and no amount of armchair analysis will diminish the fact that this man died doing his job. So please have some respect.
    #7 Dr T 17-Apr-2008
    If you look at the pics it seems the order should be 4,1,2,3 the sandels on the cameraman's feet in 4 are on the ground in 1. It seems the bodies were retrieved and THEN the can burns.
    #8 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Apr-2008

    Wire services publish grisly photographs on an almost [i]daily[/i] basis. I've seen hundreds of them over the past four months [u]alone[/u], and would expect to see them here as well, if there were any. Also, the wire services do have a tendency to publish the photos without any consideration to the deceased or their families.

    It should be noted that I am [i]not[/i] accusing the wire services of withholding photographs. The photos that were published were deemed most newsworthy by the editorial staff of each respective agency, a process that I understand and support completely.

    At issue are the [i]facts[/i] surrounding this case. The photos appear to show that bodies have been removed and replaced on the scene. As such, it's not beyond reason to think that there might be [i]other[/i] tampering going on here, or that reports coming from on the scenes there are somewhat less than truthful.

    I.e., there's more than a slight chance that the Israeli tank had [i]nothing[/i] to do with his death.

    Of course, I acknowledge that this could be much ado over nothing, but from the inconsistencies I've pointed out above, I'm still skeptical of the "official" storyline here.

    I respect the dead, absolutely. Questioning the [i]circumstances[/i] surrounding it changes that [i]not in the least[/i].

    #9 Anonymous 17-Apr-2008

    So the footage from his video camera showing the exact moment he was killed is.......?
    #10 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Apr-2008

    It appears to explain the photo evidence rather clearly: The bodies were picked up by the ambulance [i]before[/i] the car caught on fire.

    Thank you for sharing that video with us, I'll post it in the article shortly.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on this, though:

    Let's say, hypothetically, that Fadel was following a Hamas rocket squad, planning on filming them in action. In the process of getting to the scene, everyone notices an IDF tank on the horizon. The IDF, of course, sees the entire group as a threat and, under standard procedures of war, strikes under the assumption that they are under imminent threat of RPG or other fire. Who knows? Maybe the IDF even has video of efforts being made to set up a rocket attack?

    After the tank fires, what then would you say if evidence of the Hamas regiment were "conveniently" cleansed from the scene before the tape continued recording? Since there's a cut there, we can't be certain that the film started recording immediately after the shell exploded [i]or[/i] if it was re-started by someone after a period of time.

    And, what if after the evidence of Hamas' actions are thoroughly cleansed from the site by their sympathizers on the scene, Fadel is hoisted up as an innocent martyr towards the cause of "liberating Palestine," and his death is used to malign the "dastardly" Israeli Defence Forces.

    This is, of course, a [i]hypothetical[/i] scenario, but if even the slightest part of it is true, what would you say to that?

    Don't you think the news-reading public should have a [i]right[/i] to know if the information presented is not "exactly" what happened on the ground?

    I think they do.

    And I don't think we serve much of anything by censoring the discussion surrounding this case prematurely.

    I'd love to hear your further input,

    #11 Michael P. 17-Apr-2008
    I think that there might be a simpler explanation for why Israel might have fired at him. From the film that was shot last from his camera, you can see that it was taken from a camera aiming directly at a tank. Imagine that you are in a tank, you are fighting terrorists, and through the brush you see something aimed at you, even with binoculars, you have a few seconds to decide whether to wait and see if it is nothing, or have an anti-tank missile hit you.
    #12 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Apr-2008

    You might be right. It should also be noted that the IDF has yet to speak out about this incident. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, they have to say about it—and what proof they offer as well.

    #13 Just A Grunt 17-Apr-2008
    A lot of attention is being given to the different telling of the story, air strike versus a tank and then to the appearing/disappearing bodies, but I want to address another aspect. The car is totally engulfed in flames in the rear. Looking at the terrain that the vehicle is in it would have been impossible for a tank to have shot the vehicle from either side, and based on the fire, from the front. So if a tank did engage this vehicle it would have to have been from the rear, but didn't they claim that he was facing the tank and filming it?
    As to it being the result of an air strike it might be possible but the theory I am leaning towards is he was the victim of the backblast from an RPG. When you fire these Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) it is a recoilless weapon. In order to accomplish this the back of the weapon is open and all of the propellant and associated combustion that is used to launch the munition is vented out the back. More then a few jihadist have fallen victim to this and if there was an over excited Hamas member there who just jumped out into the road in an attempt to ambush an Israeli tank he may not have checked the backblast.
    The burning vehicle is an attempt to stage an event and to coverup the Hamas incompetence.
    #14 soccer dad 17-Apr-2008
    Michael may have a point. There was an incident years ago in southern Lebanon where an Israeli tank shot and killed a cameraman. But at a distance, how easy is it to tell between a videocamera and a shoulder launched RPG?

    How do media cars usually mark themselves? Do they usually have markings in both the front and the back?
    #15 Just A Grunt 17-Apr-2008
    After viewing the video I can now see the air burst munition captured on film. However I go back to the location of this crew and the vehicle. The people in the tank would not have been able to see the vehicle from their location. In looking at the photos and comparing them to the video the tank would be on the passenger side of vehicle when you are looking at the photos. In military terms we would say the vehicle was in a hull defilade position. Secondly they is a large bunch of vegetation on that side so once again, except through the use thermal sights on the tank, they would not have seen the people. On the thermal image at that distance you could not have discerned what the person was holding. How many of you could pick out the tank prior to them telling you there was one? Think you could see a person at that distance?
    So the accounts of them being hit with a flachette round could be true. As for the Israelis being able to see the vehicle or discern what the people behind the bushes were doing highly unlikely.
    The burning car was added for effect later.
    #16 busywolf 17-Apr-2008
    It is not clear from the Israeli news reports whether Fadel was seated in his vehicle, or standing outside of it when he was hit by whatever hit him. However, given the dramatic effects of his camera going blank, I find it a bit odd that his camera was paraded during his funeral in pretty good shape. Quite reminiscent of the undamaged toys, prams, as well as scorched qurans or other props used by the Hezbollah in 2006.
    Complete with this little re-enactment of the Qana body parade:
    Also, Mohammed Abed of AFP would have us know that the attack on Fadel was helicopter backed:
    There were more victims in this incident, one of them posing for the camera
    until he realized he needed a good pair of shades:
    #17 Render 17-Apr-2008

    IMI does not produce a flechette (steel darts) round for the 120mm Merkava main gun.

    However, they do produce an air-burst capable anti-personnel round.

    #18 Grenadier 17-Apr-2008
    From looking at the footage that Shana shot, you can see the tank fire and then about 1.5 seconds later an airburst occurs in front and just above the cameraman. Though this could have inflicted the human casualties, it more than likely would not have set fire to the vehicle which was much farther away from the exploding round.
    #19 Waste93 17-Apr-2008
    The photos are out of order as others have said.

    As for the anti-personnel round mentioned by Render. According to the page the munition fires six sub munitions downward from an overhead position. The sub-munitions are explosive. Basicly it's a cluster bomb for tanks. However I didn't see a sub-munition explosion where you see the 'puff' that people say is the round detonating in mid air. If it had released a sub-munition at that point you would expect a corresponding explosion.

    As for the flechette explanation. If true you would also expect to see holes in the vehicle from the darts as it appears the people were fairly close the vehicle when hit and a flecette round is an area of effect weapon. It spreads out like a shotgun shell. You should see flechette damage to the surroundings. Car, tress, etc.

    It's fairly obvious the vehicle was set on fire after the scene was cleared.

    What's the chance that this is a 'work accident'?
    #20 Phil T 17-Apr-2008
    I think the first picture is actually third judging by the shadows of the trees and the car being and then not being on fire. So I would rearrange your order to be 2,3,1,4. I also saw some other pictures of some of the people that "died." The blood stains on their shirts looked like it was created by a shitty horror movie and their shirts were completely intact.
    #21 captainfish 17-Apr-2008
    Very excellent observation.
    I thought of that too when I listened to the video. the truck would have been either riddled with holes from the top and side or from the side alone. Video and pics show little to no metal damage except for the backend. The HOOD of the truck is INTACT. The glass... looks odd.

    Also, who would pick up a video camera belonging to a dead cameraman and start using it to film the scene. No, I think the scene after the shot goes dark is from another camera, the reuters camera crew. who just so happens to be on the scene as well? Oh, and not to mention the AFP camera crew? Were AP guys there? They are usually never far behind. They do flock together.

    This whole thing stinks. I like Grunt's theory that these embed camera guys (who seem to be really, really, loved by Hamas and Pallies) were out in the field getting some real nice anti-israeli shots (ie. hamas launching rockets and civilian targets). They were in wrong place.

    Now, that is the sane explanation. Worse one is that this camera guy is on the terrorist's payroll and was doing some PR work for them. He got killed. (why was a "boy" there if this was even official business) Then the Pallywood comes to the rescue.
    #22 Takekaze 17-Apr-2008
    It's quite interesting that the car starts burning when the "bodies" are already gone from the scene. Also, as captainfish pointed out, the guy near the ambulance in the last photo with the "body", now that's a really odd way of carrying a dead person. In fact, it's not even remotely efficient. An unconscious person, for example, would NEVER be moved like this by a single rescue worker. There's a special grip that allows you to move a patient easily, even by yourself. The way displayed in this photo is not it. Definitely not. If the person's dead, then, honestly, you'd do it with your partner, but not by yourself.

    The "rescue worker" in front is also displaying a way of picking up the body which is, well... hardly professional at all. It would be a lot easier for him to keep the body like this, use his free hand -the one going for the legs- to put the right arm of the victim in front of the victim's chest and then put both of his arms under the armpits of the victim grabbing the victim's arm with both hands. With that he'd be able to lift the body and drag it away easily.

    Now I'm assuming that those orange vests mean some sort of rescue service. Any paramedic would know those techniques, it's bread and butter of this profession. If they were real paramedics/rescue workers they'd know that. It was one of the first things I learned when I went through training.

    Very odd indeed.
    #23 Easy 8 17-Apr-2008
    The round that was fired was indeed the 120mm APAM. The puff was the separation of the 6 submunitions from the main projectile. Notice the puff was a ways out from the camera position. The submunitions continue on the same trajectory then explode over the target. You can see a 3 photo sequence of the submunitions dispersing on page 12 of this pdf file:

    It happens very quickly and you wouldn't necessarily see the secondary explosions in the video as they would be directly above the camera.

    I agree that it's very likely the car was set on fire afterwards for added dramatic effect.
    #24 Solomonia 17-Apr-2008
    Lots of talk and analysis in the blogosphere over the death of Fadel Shana and his martyr's funeral. Video from Reuters showing final video. Augean Stables looks for elements of Pallywood. Snapped Shot is sniffing for Fauxtography. Dave has a...
    #25 john 17-Apr-2008
    I say its pretty obvious he was nailed be the tank. Looks about right from my Military experience. You can see the tank fire and then the flachette round explode just in front and above the camera view.

    The Palestinians are thronging to his funeral simply because he was killed by Israelis. It doesn't make him a terrorist. He has just become a pawn in their game to seek celebrity for the cause.

    If it looks like an Israeli atrocity it suits them well even though my guess is the Israeli gunner took the camera as an anti tank weapon. Believe me that is not so hard to believe.
    #26 Tom W. 18-Apr-2008

    "Recently the Israeli (source: Jane's) used tank flechette rounds against crowds (the ammunition used in this case was a modified version of the M494 105mm APERS-T round: it releases about 5000 flechettes in a cone-shaped pattern 300m long and about 94m wide)."

    Wouldn't 5000 flechettes do a hell of a lot more damage than is seen in any of the photos?
    #27 Tom W. 18-Apr-2008
    In this video, there's a close-up of the TV truck at 1:23.

    The hood is unscratched, while the windshield is full of holes.

    Also, the driver's door is blown off, but the metal surrounding it is pristine.

    Five thousand steel darts wouldn't riddle the windshield and blow off the driver's door but leave the rest of the vehicle undamaged. The truck looks like it was raked with pistol or rifle fire, then the door was yanked off and the fire was set.

    Finally, how far away is that tank? The flechette round is used only at close ranges.

    I know it's possible another type of munition was used, but the point is the Palestinians say they have irrefutable forensic evidence that a flechette round was fired, yet the damage is inconsistent with that type of munition.

    If the Pallies are lying about the type of round used, they could easily be lying about why the Israelis fired. Maybe the dead cameraman was standing beside armed terrorists.
    #28 Don Meaker 18-Apr-2008
    important to note that arab terrorists use press vehicles and ambulances to transport their thugs. This, according to the Geneva Convention, does not give the thugs protection, but rather removes protection from the civilian vehicles or structures. The rules are written that way so there is no incentive for illegal combatants to violate the rules.
    #29 Joe shmoe 18-Apr-2008
    Does anybody understand photo 159 in the slideshow??

    You can see the ambulance in the background, and you can see people standing around nearby. This doesn't look like an emergency situation. Hold on...I think I saw the guy with the blue underwear in another photo...slide 135 and slide 139. So, they have this guy laying on the ground because he's that injured, yet they carry him around as in 135, but somehow put that faux bandage on him in 139 for the stretcher?!?

    Wait a second, I think I also see the second guy behind him in another photo: slide 156 now. This is all very suspicious - and the guy helping him up (btw, in a dangerous way) is the same guy in the background of 157 walking around (same red jacket around waist). It looks like Pallywood brought a small crew.

    Also, what about the people just walking around in the video at 1:22? Also, the fire hose - how did they get a hookup on the road? Was the place chosen first, then the car lit on fire later? You don't see a fire engine, and the ambulance didn't have to swerve around one on that narrow road. Take a look at the fire hose scenes - do these look like Pallywood actors or professional firemen? (163-165). As others have pointed out, the fire was started afterwards. One lie implies a lot more.

    Look where the car is too - right behind a small hill...perfect spot for hiding a crew that could fire an RPG. Me thinks the RPG theory that others have pointed out is true. That spotless hood does not look like it got hit by the tank, but the door/rear area look like backblast from an RPG fired by an amateur right in front!

    The film of the round exploding could be real, but I don't think that was even connected to this incident. There are too many lies already to believe any of this. I smell another Al-Durah.
    #30 Eric W 18-Apr-2008
    I hope we eventually get the IDF side of things before the whole story goes down the memory hole. Hopefully they also have video that's the only way we'll know what the context was.

    That said, I'm fairly certain that the IDF didn't purposefully or maliciously kill a cameraman. The road the truck was on was concealed, and I doubt and TV or other media markings were visible. Even if they were, the Pali's have been known to abuse such markings in the past.

    I have a few observations and questions that might contribute to the discussion...

    First, I always thought flechette tank rounds were literally like shotgun rounds that leave the barrel already seperated. I, however, was wrong. I conveniently found a page at Jane's that discusses the IDF's use of such rounds. Note that IMI says that the 120mm version is intended to defeat anti-tank teams. Also, they say the round has not been used in combat but the article is 7 years old. Looking at the first and last photos and this one, I have a hard time believing flechettes would do that much twisting of metal, but that's just speculation.

    Note that in the video they say that doctors have confirmed that he was killed by flechettes and that some embedded were in his vest. But in this photo none are visible. I'm not sure what to make of that.

    By my estimation, there's 1.5-2 seconds between the two flashes in the video. I couldn't find any data for the 120mm APERS but I imagine it travels at least 1000 m/s, making the distance at least a kilometer and at most maybe 2.5.

    Finally, I'd like a translation of the voices heard on the video... that could potentially be revealing. Also, it sounds like there are a few different voices. With a longer clip the exact nature of their conversation and the number of speakers would be clear.

    Personally I believe he was either with a real anti-tank team or that he was mistaken for one.

    Reuters certainly has plenty of file footage of IDF tanks where, you know, you can actually see the tank. The fact that they stopped so far away to film the tank is strange... I can't imagine anyone paying for that footage unless, of course, something else was going on. The video reminded me of the jihadi videos of IEDs and ambushes on LiveLeak. And of course the much-delayed fire destroying the physical evidence seems a bit too convienent.

    It's possible they were mistaken for being an anti-tank team. Considering the physical appearance and silhouette of the AT weapons that wreaked havoc on Merkavas in the 2006 Lebanon war (including Russian-made RPG-29 'Vampir', AT-5 Spandrel 'Konkurs' (9M113), AT-13 Saxhorn-2 'Metis-M' (9К115-2), and АТ-14 Spriggan 'Kornet' (9M133) missiles), mistaking a big professional video camera peeking over the vegetation from over a kilometer away for an AT weapon is understandable. And considering how many tank crew members were killed in 2006, taking action in such a situation is certainly reasonable.

    Either way it was a rational response to a perceived threat and certainly not a war crime or terrorist act as some have already begun to argue.
    #31 mel simpson 18-Apr-2008
    The RPG theory seems very plausible. Perhaps the footage is genuine and records the moment of the RPG backblast, not the Israeli tank round.
    The camera stops almost immediately after the mid-air burst...contrasting that with the delay from the tank fire to air burst, the moment of impact seems out of sync.
    #32 Waste93 18-Apr-2008
    It may well have been an APAM round. They can be set for either air burst or impact detonation. However as the round states it can penetrate light armored vehicles and bunkers you would expect more damage to a car than is apparent.

    The sub munitions are filled with shrapnel which may have been confused for flechette rounds. But again with this much shrapnel in the area you would expect more damage to the vehicle if the bodies were as close to the vehicle as they appear in the photo. I believe at least one body was at that location based on the amount of blood in the pool.

    Personally I believe one of a couple scenarios. First was that the 'reporter' was inbedded with a terrorist team. Weather a rocket team or some other I don't know. The tank saw the enemy group and fired. The locals are claiming 19 were killed. That is a fairly large number to just be happening to be hanging around innocently in a combat area. Nor is it likely a reporter would just be hanging out with innocent while combat is going on in the area. They would want to get 'action' pics.

    Other option is that the video camera was mistaken for an anti-tank weapon. The way a large video camera is held and it's shape is similar to an anti-tank weapon especially if viewed from a distance.

    Or it could be a combination of both theories.
    #33 Doodad 18-Apr-2008
    Jihad is heck. If you are in the middle of it you may get killed. Above all else, that simple truth.
    #34 Tully 18-Apr-2008
    Not all that confusing once you get the time sequence down. Cameraman gets out of vehicle, aims back along road with camera. Tank a mile or more away sees man get out of vehicle and hoist round-snouted something to shoulder, lines up on what could be an RPG, cuts one loose dead on target. "PRess" signs on side and front of vehicle not much good from behind. The AP subrounds do their AP thing on/over the target as the "nose" charge of the shell punches out the vehicle from behind--clean hit. Rear of vehicle destroyed. VEHICLE NOT ON FIRE. Windshield damaged but present.

    People swarm, some in and out of interior of vehicle for wailing, ambulance appears, more wailing for cameras, bodies removed. Considerable time has passed--several minutes and then some. VEHICLE STILL NOT ON FIRE. *As the ambulances pull away someone sets fire to the leaking gas from the vehicle* (NOW vehicle on fire, windshield still present) eliminating contradictory evidence and giving the fire crew something to do for the cameras. Fire crew hoses down vehicle, windshield now gone.

    Salient points: Nailed by tank after pointing round-snouted object at tank from distance. No second shot from tank, just one well-placed round with small nose charge and those 6 AP bomblets. Fire was started by someone on the scene *after* the bodies were cleared up, as the last ambulance was leaving.
    #35 Joe shmoe 18-Apr-2008
    Here is the photo I tried to link to:

    Notice that there is no fire, no bodies on the ground, the ambulance is there, and people are calmly walking around. Is this the setup shot?

    For more curious people, go to the Yahoo slide show for Middle East conflict and follow the blue underwear guy from the link above. You'll notice that he'll be carried out of the ambulance in a way that you would never carry wounded, but somehow he ends up in a stretcher with a bandage on his chest later on. The pictures are not truthful.
    #36 Anon 18-Apr-2008
    If you look at the photo posted by Joe Shmoe of the bike on the ground, it has falled towards the supposed blast site.

    I'm pretty that the blast wave from a tank shell or missile goes outwards not towards the target.

    It looks staged.
    #37 phillip 18-Apr-2008
    In the video at about 1:25 a man is lamenting while leaning on the seats of the damaged TV vehicle. I think it would be rather uncomfortable for him to do so if the car was on fire from the tank shell. It certainly wasn't after the fire as the seats are covered but in an unburned condition.

    Timing is everything.
    #38 forest 18-Apr-2008
    The discussion at Lightstalkers is pretty interesting. I wonder if there could ever be a situation where some of those people would consider that a journalist might have been a bit too chummy with terrorists? Or may actually be a terrorist armed with a camera instead of a gun? I think it's a mindset where advocacy journalism is accepted in place of old fashioned journalistic standards of impartiality.

    If they want to advocate, they should get out of professional journalism and start a blog or something.
    #39 wildiris 18-Apr-2008
    Tully, I think you've got it. Looking at the shadows in the video segment and comparing them with the shadows in the press photos, the tank was back down the road from the scene and the truck would have been hit from behind. Two points, one, from this vantage point, no news-service markings would have been visible to the tank crew, and two, the reporter would have had to have gotten out of the truck and stood with the camera on his shoulder to take the footage as seen in the video segment. Lastly, if you look at the photos of the burning truck, you can see that it looks pretty mangled from the rear.

    My own humble opinion is that the film crew was already up there to film a staged civilian death scene. That explains the bicyclists, “actors”. While up on the road, they saw an IDF tank in the distance and decided to film it for some extra footage, the camera man was mistaken for a Palestinian readying an anti-tank weapon, and was fired upon. And the rest is history.
    #40 Cletus 18-Apr-2008
    ...and nothing of importance was lost.
    #41 wildiris 18-Apr-2008
    One last thought. If the truck was hit from behind, then why are there no photos of the damage from that angle? You would think that for the purposes of propaganda, and for maximum effect, they would have choosen pictures from that angle. Could it be that a view from behind the truck and looking ahead, down the road would have revealed a picture of the full staging crew in all of its glory?
    #42 wildiris 18-Apr-2008
    Yet one more observation. Now that "Faux" News is claiming a flechette round was used, where is the evidence from the scene? A 120mm flechette shell would have left steel darts stuck all over the place. Some of which would have been visible to the camera crews filming there. The other thing to note is there is no apparent scaring of the road suface. Something you would expect from a flechette round.
    #43 wildiris 18-Apr-2008
    Go to picture 192 of the photo sequence. Look, through the smoke, at the far horizon, half way between the firefighters and the burning truck. That is where the tank fired from. Damm good aim from that distance!
    #44 wildiris 19-Apr-2008
    It appears that my photo #192 is moving off of Yahoo's list. For the record, before it's gone, it is the same photo as posted above and listed as the "third picture". It is the one with the two firefighters on the right, holding an empty hose, with the SUV/truck(?) in flames on the left. It is the only photo I've seen posted that includes both the camerman's vehicle and the tank's firing position (left side, far horizon) in the same frame.
    #45 Jaques Clouseau 21-Apr-2008
    Regarding "the last photo". I have been looking for the foot of the figure in the red pants but I don't see any. Is it that there are 2 mannequins?
    #46 Jacques Clouseau 21-Apr-2008
    I enlarged photo #215 of the slide show as well, and that is the first corpse I have ever seen with its eyes and mouth open. Is that normal? Are not those things fixed before rigormortis sets in?
    #47 Werner Begoihn 21-Apr-2008
    If you regard the directions, given by the shining sun, the damages of the car are on the wrong side.
    #48 wildiris 21-Apr-2008
    Does anyone here know the area and time of the attack?

    I went on Google-Earth to see if I could locate the actual location based on the terrain, visible shadows, buildings and roads. I though that this would have been an easy task, since Gaza is a very small area.

    But have not been successful. So now I'm very curious.
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