Shelling the Palestine Hotel

On April 8, the day before Marines arrived at Firdos Square, an Army tank on the Al Jumhuriya Bridge fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel, killing two journalists and injuring three others. Those killings increased pressure on the Pentagon to secure the hotel, so that no further harm would come to journalists there; the next day, Marines were dispatched to the Palestine. Subsequent investigations revealed that although key officers on the ground, including brigade and battalion commanders, knew the Palestine should not be fired on, they did not know the hotel’s precise location, because it wasn’t marked on their maps; the tank’s crew did not know that journalists were in the building they were firing on. Click here to read the investigation from The Los Angeles Times, and click here to read the report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Author: Peter Maass

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1983, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, I went to Brussels as a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe. I left the Journal in 1985 to write for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, covering NATO and the European Union. In 1987 I moved to Seoul, South Korea, where I wrote primarily for The Washington Post. After three years in Asia I moved to Budapest to cover Eastern Europe and the Balkans. I spent most of 1992 and 1993 covering the war in Bosnia for the Post.