New York, May 15, 2021 — Today Israeli war planes destroyed a Gaza City building housing offices of The Associated Press, Al-Jazeera, and other offices and residential apartments, the AP and Al-Jazeera reported. The bombing, which came in the course of renewed violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces, completely collapsed the 12-story building, the AP said.
“This latest attack on a building long known by Israel to house international media raises the specter that the Israel Defense Forces is deliberately targeting media facilities in order to disrupt coverage of the human suffering in Gaza,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “We demand that the Israeli government provide a detailed and documented justification for this military attack on a civilian facility given the possible violation of international humanitarian law. Journalists have an obligation and duty to cover unfolding events in Gaza and it would be illegal for the IDF to use military means to prevent it.”
In a Twitter thread by the IDF today, the Israeli military claimed Hamas uses tall buildings for “military purposes,” without specifically referencing the building housing the AP and Al-Jazeera. As CPJ documented last week, on May 11 and 12 Israel warplanes bombed two other office buildings that housed more than a dozen international and local media outlets.