The Death of an Italian Journalist and Wounding of a French Photographer in Ramallah
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

March 13, 2002

The IDF is not familiar with the circumstances under which an Italian journalist, Raffaele Ciriello, was killed and a French photographer was injured in the area of Ramallah on Wednesday, March 13. The IDF is investigating the circumstances of this incident.

The French photographer was evacuated, with IDF coordination, for medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.

Exchanges of fire occurred early this morning in the area of the Kadura refugee camp. From an initial investigation it appears that the IDF forces were not aware of the presence in the area of members of the press. It should be noted that Ramallah was last night declared a closed military area, off limits to civilians.

Based on the initial and incomplete information currently available regarding this incident, it is impossible at this point to determine the source of the fire from which the journalists where hit, or whether they were hit by Israeli or Palestinian fire.

The IDF Spokesman wishes to stress that reporters who enter the center of fighting zones knowingly expose themselves to danger, especially when they do so without prior coordination with the IDF.

The IDF expresses deep sorrow for any harm caused to civilians and members of the press.