Gaza Journalists Honor Fallen Reuters Colleague
Tue Aug 19,12:43 PM ET
By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) - Banned by Israel from the West Bank, Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip held a symbolic funeral on Tuesday for Mazen Dana, a Reuters television cameraman killed in Iraq by U.S. troops.

"Mazen is a hero, his killer is a zero," the journalists chanted outside a U.N. office in Gaza City as they walked in a procession behind an empty coffin covered with pictures of Dana and a camera on a bier.

Dana, a 41-year-old Palestinian, was renowned among his colleagues and internationally for his coverage of frequent violence in his West Bank hometown of Hebron during a nearly three-year-old uprising for statehood.

He was shot by a U.S. soldier on a tank as he filmed near Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison on Sunday. Dana was the 18th international journalist to die in the conflict in Iraq and leaves a wife, Suzanne, and four children.

Reuters Chief Executive Tom Glocer, the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) in Paris have urged Washington to investigate how, by the official U.S. account, a soldier mistook Dana's camera for a grenade launcher.

Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, deputy chairman of the Palestinian Journalist Union, called in Gaza on the United Nations to launch an independent investigation into Dana's death.

"Dana did not die in vain. He died for the sake of truth and he will remain in our hearts and memories," Abu Khoussa said at the symbolic funeral.

"Dana, we will not forget you. We will all follow in your footsteps," mourners cried.

They will be unable, however, to walk in Dana's funeral procession in Hebron after his coffin arrives from Iraq. Citing security concerns, Israel bans Gazans from the West Bank.

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