SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Israeli air strikes destroy buildings housing more than a dozen media outlets in Gaza

Thursday , 13 May 2021

On May 11 and 12, 2021, Israeli warplanes bombed and destroyed the Al-Jawhara and Al-Shorouk office buildings in Gaza City, which house more than a dozen international and local media outlets, according to news reports, a statement by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and Louay al-Ghoul, head of the syndicate in Gaza, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.


Residents were warned to evacuate the Al-Jawhara building before the air strike, and planes fired two warning shots at the Al-Shorouk building before firing missiles, according to multiple news reports. CPJ could not immediately confirm whether any journalists were killed or injured in the attacks; those reports said that the buildings had been evacuated, but a report by the BBC stated that there had been unidentified “civilian deaths” in the Al-Jawhara strike.

 

According to reports published by the affected outlets, Israeli planes destroyed the 12-story Al-Jawhara building, which housed the offices of:


The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and news reports also stated that the building housed the offices of the broadcaster Al-Nujaba TV, affiliated with the Iraqi militia Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba; the state-owned broadcaster Syria TV; and the local photo agency APA Images. CPJ was unable to find any information published by those outlets concerning the airstrike.

The nearby office of the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera was also damaged by the bombing of the Al-Jawhara building, according to the syndicate statement and a report by the broadcaster.


Israeli forces also bombed and destroyed the Al-Shorouk building, which housed the offices of:

The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate also stated that Taiff Media was located in that building, but CPJ could not immediately confirm the details of that company’s work.


After publication of this article, the Israel Defense Force’s North America Desk, without providing a name, responded to CPJ’s request for comment with an emailed statement saying the Israeli military acted within international law and made “every effort” to minimize civilian harm, including giving sufficient warning to evacuate the buildings.


The statement said Israeli forces had bombed the Al-Jawhara building because it housed Hamas’ intelligence and military offices, including “the military wing’s Public Relations department.” It said the Al-Shorouk building housed Hamas military intelligence offices and “infrastructure used by the terror organizations to communicate tactical-military information.”


In recent weeks, protests sparked in part by evictions of Palestinian families from the eastern Jerusalemite neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in favor of Israeli settlers have led to larger clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, resulting in the deaths of at least 65 poeople in Gaza and 6 in Israel, according to Reuters.  

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