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An Israeli airstrike destroys a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed several media outlets, including the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.

An Israeli airstrike destroys a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed several media outlets, including the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera. (Photo: Nidal Alwaheidi/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Committee to Protect Journalists Accuses Israel of Trying to 'Shut Down' Gaza Coverage by Bombing Media Outlets

"Deliberately targeting media outlets constitutes a war crime," said Reporters Without Borders.

Global press freedom organizations are accusing the Israeli government of attempting to violently stamp out on-the-ground coverage of its assault on Gaza by bombing the offices of media outlets across the occupied territory, attacks that the groups characterized as war crimes under international law.

"The Israel Defense Forces are not only inflicting unacceptable material damage on news operations. They are also, more broadly, obstructing media coverage of a conflict that directly affects the civilian population."
—Christophe Deloire, Reporters Without Borders

"In less than a week, Israel has bombed the offices of at least 18 media outlets, and it's difficult to reach any conclusion other than that the Israeli military wants to shut down news coverage of the suffering in Gaza," Ignacio Miguel Delgado, the Middle East and North Africa representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said in a statement Tuesday.

"Israel must stop bombing the offices of news outlets and step up efforts to ensure that local and international journalists can work safely and freely," Delgado added.

While Israel's recent destruction of a high-rise building housing offices of the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera has drawn much media attention and condemnation, they are hardly the only news outlets that have been affected by the Netanyahu government's latest bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which has thus far killed more than 200 people, injured at least 1,300, and displaced tens of thousands.

On Monday, CPJ noted, Israeli fighter jets "bombed and damaged a Gaza City office building housing the office of the Nawa Online Women Media Network, a news website affiliated with the women's rights and youth organization Filastiniyat." That attack reportedly killed two civilians, a father and his daughter.

CPJ said it is also looking into Israel's bombing of an office building that housed Mashareq, an advertising and media production company.

"We didn't expect the bombing because we are a media and civilian company," Hazem Abu Hamid, director of Mashareq's audio production team, told Skeyes Media. "There was nobody in the building, but we lost all the equipment, including computers, printers, and the filming equipment, not to mention that all 60 employees of the company are now unemployed."

In a statement earlier this week, Reporters Without Borders urged the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor to include Israel's attacks on Palestinian and international media outlets in her investigation of possible war crimes in the occupied territories.

"Deliberately targeting media outlets constitutes a war crime," said Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders. "By intentionally destroying media outlets, the Israel Defense Forces are not only inflicting unacceptable material damage on news operations. They are also, more broadly, obstructing media coverage of a conflict that directly affects the civilian population."


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