Israel 'deliberately targeting media' to silence coverage of Gaza bombardment: rights group

Israel 'deliberately targeting media' to silence coverage of Gaza bombardment: rights group
Comments by CPJ came after Israel levelled a residential tower housing news agency offices, including those of Associated Press and Al Jazeera.
2 min read
16 May, 2021
The Gaza offices of national and international media outlets were targeted [Getty]
Israel is "deliberately" targeting media facilities in Gaza to silence coverage of its deadly violence, a journalists rights group said in a statement on Saturday, after Israeli bombardment took down a residential tower housing several media offices.

The offices of national and international media outlets, including Qatar-based Al Jazeera and, Associated Press and Al Araby TV and radio were targeted and destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, prompting global condemnation.

"This latest attack on a building long known by Israel to house international media raises the specter that the Israel Defense Forces is deliberately targeting media facilities in order to disrupt coverage of the human suffering in Gaza," said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"We demand that the Israeli government provide a detailed and documented justification for this military attack on a civilian facility given the possible violation of international humanitarian law.

"Journalists have an obligation and duty to cover unfolding events in Gaza and it would be illegal for the IDF to use military means to prevent it."

Israel alleged it attacked the high-rise which "hosted military assets belonging to Hamas".

Rights groups have called Israel’s actions an attack on press freedom, and Al Jazeera said it will take legal action against the Israeli military.

''It is clear that those who are waging this war do not only want to spread destruction and death in Gaza, but also to silence media that are witnessing, documenting and reporting the truth of what is happening in Gaza,'' said Walid al-Omari, Al Jazeera's Jerusalem bureau chief.

AFP has since been hosting journalists from Al Jazeera and The Associated Press in its Gaza offices, the French news agency's director for the MENA said in a tweet on Sunday.

Israeli air and artillery strikes on Gaza since Monday have killed 181 Palestinians, of them 52 children and injured more than 12,000 in the worst violence on the enclave since 2014.

Israel's aggression has prompted a global movement, with protests occurring in the UK, the US and across the world in solidarity with Palestine.

Read more: Palestinian Muslims and Christians unite against violence and displacement

Social media has been prominent in highlighting the violence and aggression and to raise awareness, educate and protest an end to Israel’s occupation and continued violence, with people using trending hashtags #GazaUnderAttack and #SaveSheikhJarrah to get the message out.

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