Israel destroys Gaza media offices

Nora Barrows-Friedman

The Electronic Intifada  /  May 13, 2021

Israel has levelled several multi-story buildings in Gaza City that housed the offices of more than a dozen international and local media outlets, as well as apartments housing dozens of families.

On Wednesday, Israeli missile strikes destroyed the Al-Jawhara building, where regional Arabic-language broadcasters had offices.

The building was also home to APA Images, the photography agency whose images are regularly used by The Electronic Intifada and other publications.

APA Images’ director Naaman Omar sent an email to the agency’s clients reassuring them that despite the total destruction of the office, “we will keep our services on and you will receive photos and videos as normal.”

The media offices of the Al-Jazeera network, located near the building, were also damaged in the attack.

Israeli fighter jets also struck and destroyed the Shorouq tower, a landmark on the Gaza skyline and a home to Palestinian media outlets.

The 16-floor building was reduced to rubble by eight separate missile strikes that followed a series of “roof-knocking” bombs, according to Sky News Arabia.

Amal Shurrab, whose family established the Shorouq tower, according to Al-Jazeera, recorded video of the building crumbling to the ground.

The Committee to Protect Journalists’ regional representative, Ignacio Miguel Delgado, called on the Israeli government to ensure that journalists “can do their jobs safely without fear of being injured or killed.”

“It is utterly unacceptable for Israel to bomb and destroy the offices of media outlets and endanger the lives of journalists, especially since Israeli authorities know where those media outlets are housed,” Delgado said.

The Palestinian News Syndicate called the targeting and destruction of media headquarters “part of the full-fledged war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people, and against journalists and the media.”

The journalists union demanded “urgent international action to halt this aggression and ensure that occupation leaders are held accountable for these crimes.”

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014)