The Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) Pakistan has expressed grief over the unfortunate demise of an Associated Press (AP) video journalist and a freelance Palestinian translator who were killed on Wednesday when ordnance left over from the Israeli-Hamas war exploded during the media practitioners’ coverage of the conflict’s aftermath.
Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash lost their lives when an unexploded missile blew up as Gaza police’s bomb disposal squad was trying to defuse it in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.
Thirty five year-old Camilli, an Italian national who had been serving AP since 2005 after getting hired in Rome, relocated to Jerusalem in 2006 where he covered assignments in Gaza. He is the 33rd AP staffer to die in the line of duty since the news agency was founded in 1846. Camilli is the second AP staffer to die this year. On April 04, AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed and veteran AP correspondent Kathy Gannon received injuries when an Afghan law enforcer shot them during elections.
Abu Afash, the 36-year-old Gaza resident who is survived by a wife and two daughters, often worked with the international media as a translator and news assistant. His tragic death has left the area residents in a state of shock.
Members of the CJA Pakistan with tears in eyes but with their heads held high at a local gathering maintained that dying in the line of duty is something worth cherishing by all and sundry. Wishing the best of luck to all the journalists the world over, members of the association hoped to hear good news in future.