Raffaele Ciriello, a freelance photographer on assignment for the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, was hit by six bullets fired from an Israeli tank as he was covering an Israeli incursion into Ramallah near the central Al-Manara Square.
With a journalist from the Italian TV station Rai Uno, Amedeo Ricucci, he was in an alleyway off the main street, behind a group of armed Palestinians, when the tank crew, 150 metres away, suddenly opened fire. Ambulances could not reach the scene because of the fierce gunfire, so Ciriello was taken by young Palestinians to the Arab Care hospital, where he died before he could be operated on. The hospital said he had been hit in the chest, stomach, intestines and kidneys.
The Israeli army prevented journalists from entering Ramallah until 4 pm on 12 March, while troops occupied most of the city.
Ciriello, 42, began his career a decade ago photographing motor-cycle races and events such as the Paris-Dakar race before becoming interested in war photo-journalism. He had reported on conflicts all over the world, including Lebanon, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Kosovo, Eritrea and Sierra Leone. He also worked with Maria Grazia Cutuli, an Italian journalist killed in Afghanistan last November.