This biography was written by the journalist Alberta Del Bianco

Son of Pierluigi Camilli a journalist with the state broadcaster Rai as well as the mayor of Pitigliano (Grosseto) Simone collaborated with various newspapers, including the Associated Press (AP) news agency for which he worked in Italy, Europe and the Middle East. Simone graduated in 2006 in History and Religious Studies, at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the La Sapienza University of Rome, with a thesis on the relationship between suicide and martyrdom in contemporary Islam.

The start of his career –Simone began his professional experience in 2005 in the Catholic Asia News agency and at the Rome office of the AP for which he covered, together with a team of journalists and producers one of the major media events; the death of Pope John Paul II, on April 2nd 2005.

The move to Jerusalem – In 2006 he moved to the correspondent’s office of Associated Press in Jerusalem from where he followed up to 2014 the various Israeli-Palestinian wars, the Second Lebanon War, the clashes between the main Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, the advance of ISIS in Iraq and the refugee emergency, and the three Israeli military operations launched in the Gaza Strip between 2008 and 2014; “Cast Lead”, “Pillar of Defence”, and “Protective Edge”.

European News – In addition to the Middle East, Simone Camilli covered numerous events in Europe, including the presidential elections in France in 2007, the celebrations for the Declaration of Independence of Kosovo in 2008, the Second Georgian-Ossetian conflict in 2008 and the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the Island of Giglio (2012).

In Lebanon – In mid-2014, Camilli moved to the correspondent’s office of Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon.

Death in Gaza in 2014 – Simone’s genuine desire to document the human drama of war, mainly through the use of the images he shot was the reason he returned to Gaza in August 2014, almost a month after the start of the Protective Edge military operation. On August 13th a cease-fire was declared between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces and Simone decided to document, through video, the consequences of the bombs that remained unexploded on the ground, continuing to kill or maim people. Therefore together with the interpreter, the Palestinian journalist Ali Shehda Abu Afash and a photographer from the AP Hatem Moussa, he accompanied a bomb squad from the Gaza police in their daily routine with his video-camera. The unexpected explosion of a bomb near Beit Lahia, in the north of the Gaza Strip, in unclear circumstances, killed Simone, Abu Afash and four policemen, as well as wounding Hatem Moussa. Simone left behind a partner and a 3-year-old daughter. On the day of the accident, he was remembered by Pope Francesco Bergoglio in a prayer with dozens of journalists during the flight that was taking them to South Korea.

Simone Camilli is one of the seventeen journalists who died during the conflict in the Gaza Strip and one of the 66 killed world-wide in 2014.

(Source Wikipedia)

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