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“Tragic Clues Uncovered: CNN Analysis Links Israeli Tank Fire to Death of Reuters Journalist

A CNN analysis has suggested that an Israeli tank fired on Reuters journalist Yasser Murtaja during an October attack on the Gaza strip in which he died. The evidence consists of video and audio that was “reviewed by open source investigators at London-based Bellingcat”, which shared the conclusion with CNN. The analysis claims that Murtaja was killed by “a single shot from an Israeli battle tank.” The analysis, which draws on military records provided by the Israel Defense Forces, along with other documentation, posits that the tank fired one shot from an Israeli Merkava Mark IV during an incident in which Murtaja was killed. The shell was fired from the direction of an Israeli tank, which had been deployed to the area. The incident took place on October 12, 2018 when Murtaja was reporting from the border. He had been wearing a blue protective vest with “PRESS” written on it but had no helmet. At the time of the attack, Israeli forces had been firing projectiles with both live and rubber ammunition, according to witnesses in the area. No other media outlets were present at the incident, making it difficult to confirm the details. However, CNN notes that the analysis “supports what Reuters and human rights groups previously said about the incident: that Murtaja was targeted not only because he was a journalist but because he was wearing a press vest.” Bellingcat’s report concludes that it is “highly unlikely” that the Merkava Mark IV tank was intentionally aiming at Murtaja, suggesting that his death was an “accidental result of indiscriminate spraying of bullets and artillery fire.” As a result of Murtaja’s death, Amnesty International has called on “the Israeli Military to conduct an independent, objective and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding his killing, reveal its findings and hold those responsible to account.” Murtaja, an award-winning photographer, was just 30 years old. His death has had deep reverberations in the media industry due to the dangers journalists face when reporting on conflicts.