'Miller's death confirms we're targets now'

Miller: killed filming in Gaza Strip

The Foreign Office has requested an inquiry into the death of British journalist James Miller, who was killed by Israeli soldiers while filming in the Gaza Strip on 2 May.

Foreign Office minister Mike O’Brien met the Israeli ambassador at the weekend to call for the inquiry. “We have been in touch with the Israeli authorities and are pushing for a full and transparent investigation into the death of James Miller,” said a Foreign Office spokeswoman.

Channel 4, Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists are also demanding an investigation. Channel 4, with whom Miller had worked on award-winning documentaries such as Beneath the Veil, with Saira Shah, and Innocents Lost, said it would be calling on the Israeli Government and army for a full and open enquiry.

The circumstances of Miller’s death are disputed. He was filming with Shah in the town of Rafah when they came under fire. They were making a documentary for US channel HBO about the effects of conflict on children.

It is understood that despite being clearly marked with the letters “TV” and holding up a white flag as they filmed soldiers demolishing a house, Miller was shot in the neck.

An Israeli spokesman insisted Miller, 34, who was married with one son, was caught in crossfire between the soldiers and Palestinians.

According to a source close to the incident, the soldiers are claiming he was shot in the back and could therefore not have been hit by them. But another cameraman recorded no evidence of crossfire, noting only the sound of the gunfire that killed Miller.

BBC current affairs head Peter Horrocks called Miller “a talented and brave journalist, passionately committed to exposing abuse of human rights and injustice in the world”.

Cassian Harrison, Miller’s friend and producer on Beneath the Veil, said the family had flown out to Israel. “James’s death really adds credence to the idea that journalists seem to have become a legitimate target. The privilege of journalists seems to be disappearing now,” he said.

By Wale Azeez

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