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November 26, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

New York Times media columnist David Carr has added his voice to those condemning Israel’s acknowledged targeting and killing of three employees of Hamas news organizations last week. A spokeswoman for the Israeli Defense Forces described the journalists as “people who have relevance to terror activity.” Commented Carr in a column on Sunday: “So it has come to this: killing members of the news media can be justified by a phrase as amorphous as ‘relevance to terror activity.'” He noted that two of the men were Al-Aqsa cameramen who were driving in a van clearly marked with the letters TV. While Al-Aqsa is run by Hamas, the other targeted journalist was the director of the private Al-Quds Educational Radio. The killings were denounced by Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists and other international organizations of journalists. Carr was also critical of Israel’s claim that Hamas was using reporters and their operations as “human shields,” pointing out that press headquarters in many locations house the operations of reporters and production personnel from a variety of local and international news media outlets. “A distinction needs to be made,” Carr argued. “The battle over ideas — over who owns the truth in a given conflict –should be fought with notebooks and video cameras, not weapons of war.” Meanwhile, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported today (Monday) that at least seven journalists were killed in Syria last week. One of those targeted by rebels was Bassel Tawfiq Youssef, a reporter for the the government operated TV network, while on the other side a journalist died while be tortured by military intelligence. His two brothers, also journalists, had previously been killed.