Photo: Smoke billows as an air bomb is dropped on the Jala Tower during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza city controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, on 15 May, 2021 (AFP)
‘Bombing the offices of journalists providing eye-witness accounts of what is happening on the ground is not an act of self-defence,’ says British media company Middle East Eye
15 May 2021 | Staff | Middle East Eye
In the afternoon of Saturday 15 May, 2021, the al-Jalaa Tower, which housed a number of media offices used by outlets including Middle East Eye, Al Jazeera, the Associated Press and other local media organisations, was bombed by the Israeli air force.
The 12-storey building also contained residential homes.
Journalists, including Middle East Eye’s photojournalist, Muhammed Hajjar, were forced to flee the building and were refused the chance to save their media equipment by Israeli intelligence.
Commenting on the destruction of his workspace and equipment, Hajjar said: “There’s nothing left…”
The British media company Middle East Eye issued the following statement on Saturday in response to the air strikes:
“This bombing is yet another attempt by Israel to dominate the narrative by excluding factual reporting of their air strikes on Gaza. There is now mounting evidence that civilian towers with no military usage or record of involvement are being targeted by the Israeli air force.
Bombing the offices of journalists providing eye-witness accounts of what is happening on the ground is not an act of self-defence. Targeting journalists by attempting to prevent them from reporting what is going on is not the act of a self-declared democracy which claims to be the unique champion of freedom of information in the Middle East.
We call upon the international press and media community to condemn Israel’s disproportionate response and stand in solidarity with colleagues in Gaza who risk their lives to report from the field.
Press freedom is a human right.”