JERUSALEM (Nov. 19)
Palestinian activists are blaming a CBS Television crew for the capture of an extremist gang by the Israel Defense Force earlier this month, and have put out a “contract” on the cameraman, Palestinian sources said.
The union of television workers has warned all foreign crews to take precautions, especially in the Nablus area.
The IDF raided the hideout of the gang, which calls itself the ‘Red Eagles,” killing its leader and arresting five suspects. Several members had been interviewed by CBS-TV only a day before the raid.
Intifada activists suspect the cameraman, who shot the interview near Nablus in the West Bank, passed the tape to security forces, somehow facilitating their capture of the gang.
The cameraman has not been identified but is probably Israeli. Foreign TV news organizations operating in Israel employ mainly local people.
The word “eagle” has been found in documents purported to be directions by the Palestine Liberation Organization to kill Israelis and Arab collaborators.
The papers, reportedly found during the summer in the Gaza home of a PLO operative, stated that perpetrators should take responsibility for the attacks as the “Eagle of the Revolution.”
Meanwhile, following the imbroglio with CBS, Palestinians are trying to patch up relations with the news media. They are aware of how important sympathetic coverage is to the intifada and are reassuring TV journalists and technicians of relatively safe working conditions.