Middle East, Palestine Under Attack

Journalists accuse Israel of ‘practicing terrorism’ after media buildings destroyed

10 journalists injured, 32 press offices destroyed in Israeli raids on Gaza buildings since Monday

16.05.2021 - Update : 16.05.2021
Journalists accuse Israel of ‘practicing terrorism’ after media buildings destroyed


GAZA CITY, Palestine

Journalists whose offices were destroyed in ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip said Saturday that Tel Aviv is following a policy of terrorism against Palestinian journalists and is seeking to silence the Palestinian voice.

Since the start of an Israeli offensive on Gaza on Monday, 10 journalists have been injured and 32 press and media offices have been destroyed because of Israeli raids on Gaza buildings.

Journalists who spoke with Anadolu Agency confirmed that their offices were in residential buildings without any military activity inside the building or in the vicinity.

They said Israel violates international law and norms that demand the protection of journalists in times of armed conflicts.

Israeli warplanes destroyed the al-Jala tower on Saturday, which hosts media offices for Aljazeera TV, The Associated Press, Mayadeen Company for Media Services, radio station Voice of Prisoners and the Doha Media Center.

Threat message

Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, Hisham Zaqqout, said the bombing of the tower contains a threat to Palestinian journalists.

"Definitely, conveying the images of Gaza embarrasses the Israeli occupation," said a Zaqqout who vowed that journalists' messages would continue despite the bombardment.

Zaqqout also said that Israeli intelligence refused to give reporters sufficient time to remove equipment and belongings before the bomb hit.

Moments vacating building

Associated Press (AP) correspondent in Gaza, Fares al-Ghoul, was surprised at being targeted because Israel knows the building.

"The first minute when we heard that we have to vacate the building, was very shocking and terrifying," said al-Ghoul, who said the time given to vacate was not enough to remove equipment and documents.

Al-Ghoul said he was forced to take with him only souvenirs he had from his wife and children.

Israeli terrorism

The director of Mayadeen Company for Media Services, Marwan al-Ghoul, said Israel is "practicing terrorism" by targeting international and local media offices.

He slammed Israel for targeting the building and accused it of seeking to block voices and images from Gaza.

Al-Ghoul estimated that he lost at least $20,000 because he was unable to take equipment, which provides services to Arab and international channels including Al Jazeera TV and Turkish TRT TV.

Criminal act

Rabah Marzouq, director of Voice of Prisoners radio station, described the destruction of the tower as a "criminal act."

"Israel's policy becomes clearer in killing the voice that conveys the Palestinian narrative and exposes Israeli violations," said Marzouq.

He said everyone who stands with the Palestinian people is a target to Israel but guaranteed that his station would soon be back on the air and again broadcasting.

Several worldwide journalists' associations accused Israeli authorities of deliberately targeting Palestinian journalists.

Two Anadolu Agency journalists sustained injuries Thursday in an Israeli raid in northern Gaza.

Israel has destroyed at least five multi-story buildings since it launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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