James Miller, 34, was killed in Rafah while making a documentary for an American cable channel.

 

An autopsy confirmed he was almost certainly killed by an Israeli soldier, despite the army's assertions to the contrary.

 

But revealing new video evidence clearly shows Miller and his team were carrying white flags and shouting to Israeli soldiers that they were British journalists.

 

Miller's death was preceded by the killing of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, and the shooting of British volunteer Tom Hurndall.

 

Israeli occupation

 

The two International Solidarity Movement activists were protesting against the Israeli occupation in Gaza.

 

John Sweeney, whose documentary “When Killing is Easy” was shown on the BBC on Sunday, said a serving Israeli soldier had no doubt Miller’s death was “murder” after watching the video tape. 

 

“The Israelis have got the best night vision equipment in the world thanks to the Americans, and they knew that James was a journalist because they had been calling out to him earlier in the day. Simple rules simply weren’t followed”

John Sweeney,
BBC journalist
 

Sweeney said: “James was the best operator in war zones that I have ever come across. When he was killed he was waving a white flag and pointing a torch towards it.

 

"A white flag is the most internationally recognised symbol of peace and surrender so he was clearly posing no threat.

 

“The Israelis have got the best night vision equipment in the world thanks to the Americans, and they knew that James was a journalist because they had been calling out to him earlier in the day. Simple rules simply weren’t followed.”

 

He added: “I don’t think it is for me to say that the Israelis have a deliberate policy of killing impartial observers but that is exactly what the father of Tom Hurndall says in our documentary. But I do think the regiment that shot James is without doubt trigger happy.”

 

Human rights journalism

 

And Sweeney, who was a personal friend Miller, said he is a great loss to human rights journalism.

 

“James was very funny guy and very good man with a strong moral streak. He will be greatly missed.”

 

After Miller’s shooting Israeli defence forces claimed he was caught in crossfire, even though the video evidence clearly shows this was not the case.

 

Israeli military authorities are conducting an internal investigation into Miller's death and interviewing the soldiers concerned.

 

But they are not talking to other eyewitnesses, or examining video evidence or the scene of the shooting.

 

Criminal investigation

 

Miller's family is pressing for a full criminal investigation, and the British government has backed their call.

 

A married father of two, Miller last year won an award for "Beneath the Veil", a film about women living under the Taliban in Afghanistan.

 

Hurndall is 'brain dead' after being
shot by an Israeli soldier

He started working as cameraman in 1995 and has worked as a cameraman, producer, and director in most of the world's hotspots.

 

He was filming a house demolition in the Gaza Strip when he was killed.

 

His death was preceded in March by that of Rachel Corrie, a young American peace activist, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah.

 

Peace activists

An army investigation into the death of a 23-year-old US national concluded it was an accident. And the Israelis said they would not take any disciplinary action against the soldiers involved.

Corrie had been trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home.

A month later British photographer and peace activist Tom Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier.

Hurndall was critically wounded in the Rafah refugee camp and was subsequently pronounced clinically dead. He is currently in a vegetative state at a London hospital.

Palestinian medics and witnesses said Hurndall was trying to pull two Palestinian children out of danger when Israeli soldiers deliberately fired at him.