As part of the ongoing military offensive on the Gaza Strip, two media towers in downtown Gaza City were targeted by Israeli airstrikes on Sunday morning. Seven journalists were injured, of whom two critically. One of the journalists, 20 year old media intern Khader Zahar, lost his leg. The stairs of the building, from which the injured journalists were carried down 11 storeys after the attack, were covered in the journalists’ blood.
The top floors of both al-Shawa (al Hossari) tower and al-Shourouq tower were completely destroyed. The floors accomodated the offices of media like Al Quds radio, Alwan radio, and Amatar.
Around 10am on Sunday journalists and members of Gaza’s civil society gathered in front of the al-Shawa tower to express their strongest condemnation of the attacks and call for the protection of journalists and all civilians.
In furtherance of their attack on media personnel and a few hours after the press conference, the Israeli occupation army sent emails to international journalists present in the Gaza Strip, telling them to evacuate from al-Shourouq Building immediately. Palestinian journalists received no warnings.
Following the intimidation of foreign press, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, extended an invitation to journalists to work from its office, should they wish to do so.
As the military and psychological warfare on the people in Gaza continues. So far 51 people have lost their lives (including 10 children) and more than 535 people have been injured (520 of them civilians) by the many hundreds of airstrikes and shellings from tanks and naval vessels targeting areas all across the Gaza Strip.
Today, journalists are given a clear message of intimidation; Gaza is not safe, and the army does not hesitate to target media personnel. Let’s hope the foreign journalists do not give in to these threats and stay here to document what is going and might still be to come.