ITV report captures moment Palestinian man is shot dead minutes after speaking to media

Cameraman captures moment group of Palestinian men, one of whom was carrying a white flag, came under fire as they try to reach family members in combat zone

Maroosha Muzaffar
Wednesday 24 January 2024 13:28 GMT
Palestinian man shot dead minutes after speaking to media

A children’s clothes seller from Gaza, standing unarmed among a group of Palestinian men holding a white flag, was shot dead minutes after speaking to an ITV cameraman.

A report aired by the British public service broadcaster showed the events unfolding as the group of five Palestinian men tried to reach family members stranded in a house inside an active combat zone.

Ramzi Abu Sahloul, a 51-year-old clothes seller, has been identified as the man who died during the incident.

The Israeli army had instructed the group to evacuate Khan Younis, which has been encircled by IDF forces, but Sahloul’s mother and brother were unable to get out from a house nearby.

According to John Irvine, the foreign correspondent for ITV news who presented Tuesday evening’s report, the five men were “doing their utmost to appear non-threatening” to Israeli soldiers nearby. They were “trying to proceed with care”.

Minutes before being shot dead, the middle-aged, English-speaking Palestinian man told ITV: “Nowhere is safe in Gaza. Everywhere you find the Israeli Army. They shoot at us at home, in any building and in the street.

“The Israelis came to us and told us to evacuate but they didn’t let my brother out. We want to go and try to get them, God willing.”

As smoke billowed and gunfire echoed in the background, signalling nearby combat, the ITV cameraman concluded the interview and walked away.

ITV said the cameraman “turned to get one last picture of the group” when gunfire rang out again. The broadcaster aired footage which showed the group ducking for cover and moving away as the shots ring out.

The footage then shows the group huddled around a member who had fallen to the ground.

“The interviewee had been shot and fatally wounded,” Irvine says. “As they tried to carry him to safety, there was the sound of more gunfire and the whoosh of a bullet passing nearby,” his voiceover adds, “suggesting the group was still being targeted”.

The IDF claimed ignorance of the specific incident, stating that the video was “clearly edited”.

In a statement to ITV, it said: “It is imperative to emphasise that the alarming, libelous and a gross mischaracterisation of the war with these despicable accusations can only be deemed as an extension of Hamas’ propaganda effort to defame the IDF and undermine our objective to dismantle Hamas and ensure the terrorist entity never again holds the power to build a terrorist army, invade Israel, murder, burn, rape and abduct Israelis.”

Israel has issued evacuation orders for approximately 513,000 people in a densely packed area of southern Gaza area amid the intense bombing of Khan Younis.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said that the risks of a regional war were “now a reality” and urged all sides “to step back from the brink and consider the horrendous costs”.

The death toll among Palestinians in Gaza has gone up to more than 25,000, according to Gaza’s health ministry, many of whom are women and children. Its tally does not distinguish between civilian and militant casualties.

Human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield KC, who spoke with ITV News, said the footage was compelling evidence of a war crime. “This group of five people are unarmed, they didn’t have weapons of any kind, they are waving a white flag. They do not present a threat. So to shoot them without warning, just like that, it is an execution.”

Israel has denied deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza and has rejected allegations of genocide in Gaza after a case was brought against it by South Africa at the International Court of Justice.

Israeli authorities have said they intend to continue bombing Gaza for several more months.

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