Simone Camilli, a video journalist with the Associated Press, died Wednesday in an explosion in the Gaza Strip. The Italian, who worked for the wire service since 2005, is the first journalist to be killed since the conflict in Gaza between Hamas and Israel started more than a month ago.
Camilli was one of five people killed in the explosion, which occurred while Gaza police engineers were trying to neutralize unexploded ordnance in Beit Lahiya, the AP reported. Also killed were Ali Shehda Abu Afash, who was working for the AP as a translator, and three Gaza policemen. Four others were seriously injured in the incident, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa, the wire service said.
Since it erupted more than a month ago, the Gaza conflict has left more than 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis dead.
The death of the AP journalist came a day after New York Times journalist Alissa J. Rubin was injured when an Iraqi military helicopter trying to deliver aid to stranded Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, in Iraqi Kurdistan, crashed. The pilot of the helicopter was killed in the accident. Rubin, a Times correspondent, sustained a concussion and broken wrist in the crash, Politico reported. Times freelance photographer Adam Ferguson was also in the helicopter but was uninjured.
In a statement Tuesday, Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet said Rubin and Ferguson were airlifted out of the area to receive medical treatment.
“Alissa is a close friend and one of our most esteemed journalists,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with both Alissa and Adam.”