Nazeh Darwazeh

Cameraman for Associated Press Television News

Nazeh Darwazeh, a cameraman for Associated Press Television News, was killed on April 19 while filming a West Bank confrontation between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians. He was 43.

The clash found Israeli troops facing off with stone- and firebomb-throwing Palestinians. Witnesses said Darwazeh was shot by an Israeli soldier taking cover behind an armored vehicle in an alley. The military insisted there were also Palestinian gunmen in the alley.

Darwazeh was born into a large family — he had five brothers and two sisters — and became politically active as a teenager, joining the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist group and one of several PLO factions dedicated to ending Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In 1979, Darwazeh went to Jordan, planning to study economics at Jordan University in Amman. Several months after his arrival, he was arrested by Jordanian intelligence because of his activism and was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.

He became disillusioned with Palestinian politics after his prison term and instead put his energy himself into his job. He returned to Nablus in 1990 and was hired by Palestinian TV after it was formed in 1994. Two years ago, several months after the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, he began working for Associated Press Television News.

He was often on the front lines, filming clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank, but rarely rattled, even in the fiercest fighting. His proudest day as a cameraman was April 8, 2002, during Israel’s biggest military offensive against Palestinian militants.

He was among the first journalists to get to the area of the April 8, 2002 fighting in the old city of Nablus, filming rows of bodies of gunmen in a makeshift morgue in a mosque, which also served as a field hospital for wounded Palestinians.

Darwazeh, a burly man with a large mustache and glasses, was a familiar figure in Nablus, where he managed one of three family-owned photo studios. On the day of his death, his body was carried through the town wrapped in Palestinian flag, to a funeral attended by about 4,000 people.

He is survived by his wife, Naela, four boys and a girl, ranging from four months to 11 years old.

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