The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) has reported at least two arrests of journalists while another 30 journalists were assaulted and beaten in targeted attacks by soldiers of the Israeli armed forces. On 11 May, the Israeli army bombed and flattened the Al-Jawhara Tower in Gaza City, Palestine, which housed the offices of 13 media organisations as well the offices of a number of non-governmental organizations.
This was followed on May 15 by aerial raids in which, Israeli fighter jets again flattened the Al-Jalaa tower which housed international news media organisations such as Al Jazeera Media Network and The Associated Press offices in Gaza.
“The attacks on the buildings housing news media organisations are unjustified and constitute war crimes. Besides the significant material losses occasioned to local and international media organizations by the unjustified attacks, a large number of journalists lost their workplaces and personal belongings, and were lucky to get away with their lives” said FAJ President Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed.
“Elsewhere, the actions of Israel would be rightly called war crimes. As the bonafede representative of journalist unions and associations in Africa, FAJ considers the reckless, repetitive and targeted bombings of media and journalistic organisations, a crude attempt to obscure the heinous crimes being committed by the Israeli army against civilians, and to prevent journalists from presenting the true picture of what is happening in the Palestinian territories,” stated FAJ President.
FAJ stands in full solidarity with the leadership and members of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and all journalists working in Palestine as they bravely continue to report the crimes committed by the Israeli army and calls for immediate accountability and for the perpetrators of war crimes and attacks on journalists not to go unpunished.
The Pan-African federation calls on the African Union (AU) and African governments to unequivocally condemn the Israeli aggression against civilians in Palestine, including journalists. The federation particularly urges the Peace and Security Council of the AU to meet urgently on the situation in Palestine.
“We will not relent in our demand to hold Israel to account for the crimes it is committing against journalists. We also call on the international community to retrain the wanton acts of Israel against defenceless civilians” declared FAJ President.