Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Miller (filmmaker)
He was killed by the Israel Defense Forces on May 2, 2003 while filming a documentary in Rafah. Tom Hurndall was another British photographer shot by the IDF in Rafa, about a month before James. Unlike James, however, Tom was a member of the International Solidarity Movement. Miller's family said the cameraman and his colleagues, who were leaving the home of a Palestinian family in the Rafah refugee camp after dark, carried a white flag and called out to troops that they were British journalists. As they walked toward an Israeli armored personnel carrier, an Israeli soldier opened fire and struck Miller with a shot to the neck, the family said.
Rafah has been the scene of daily violence throughout more than four years of fighting, and Israeli troops routinely open fire as they patrol the area to protect against ambushes by Palestinian gunmen.[] The army has expressed regret over the incident but pointed out that the Briton had "taken great risks by being in a virtual war zone".
He also worked on films such as Beneath the Veil and Unholy War .
On March 9, 2005, the IDF announced the closing of the Miller case, announcing that the soldier believed responsible for the shooting would not be indicted. The army said military police had carefully investigated the incident but had been unable to establish the soldier's guilt. "The findings of the military police show that an Israel Defense Forces lieutenant, the commanding officer of the IDF force at the site, allegedly fired his weapon in breach of IDF Rules of Engagement," a statement said. "However, it is not legally possible to link this shooting to the gunshot sustained by Mr. Miller." The army did say that the soldier would be disciplined for misusing his weapon. It did not elaborate.
Miller's family has expressed disappointment at the decision, and plan to ask an Israeli court to review the findings, in addition to seeking civil action for wrongful killing. Mr. Miller's widow, Sophy, said "Nothing can express our outrage that, waiting for two years and putting our faith in a system which has now failed to deliver, we still have prosecutors who suspect and continue to suspect a commanding officer and who will only bring disciplinary measures because of an initial flawed investigative process. The truth will come out and we hope the Israeli judicial system will mete out justice. This investigation does not serve the IDF, decent Israeli citizens, us, his family, and, above all, James."
British Foreign Office Minister Baroness Symons said she was "dismayed" by the decision. "I deeply sympathize with James' family, who have worked so hard to secure justice for James. The British government will continue to raise James's case with the government of Israel."
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