Channel 2 reporter sacked over leaked Shalit letter
Reporter acquired the letter for a book he was writing, and agreed not to divulge the letter's existence until book was published.
The Palestinian affairs reporter for Channel 2 News, Suleiman al-Shafi was fired Wednesday over events surrounding a letter by Gilad Shalit that he had obtained while writing a book on the captive soldier.
Shafi, who had been suspended for 50 days, was informed of his dismissal by Channel 2 News director general Avi Weiss.
Two months ago, Channel 10 News military commentator Alon Ben-David exposed the previously unreleased letter Shalit had written to his parents. It later emerged that Shafi had acquired the letter for a book he was writing, and that he had agreed not to divulge the letter's existence until the book was published, by Yedioth Ahronoth publishing. Yedioth ultimately released the letter.
A day before a story was to appear in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Shafi asked that the letter be revealed on Channel 2 News, with credit given to Yedioth. Channel 2 rejected the idea, and the letter was then leaked to Ben-David and Ynet, Yedioth's news Web site.
The complicated series of events led to Shafi's suspension, but the reporter says he has yet to receive official word of his dismissal.
"I haven't received any official notification," Shafi said yesterday, adding that he had become the victim of "rumors." Channel 2 News confirmed the details of Shafi's dismissal.