Journalists survey what’s left of their workplace, which was destroyed in an Israeli air strike with just a one-hour warning
Global Research, May 16, 2021Middle East Eye 15 May 2021
On Saturday afternoon, the al-Jalaa Tower in Gaza City, which housed a number of media offices used by outlets including Middle East Eye, was bombed by the Israeli air force.
Shortly before the strike, Al Jazeera aired a phone call between the owner of al-Jalaa and an Israeli intelligence officer. The owner, named by Al Jazeera as Abu Hossam, asked to be given more time to evacuate equipment from the offices.
The intelligence officer declined his request. Occupants of the building were given a one-hour notice before the air strike took place. (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)
Journalists search through the rubble of al-Jalaa Tower in Gaza city on Saturday after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike.
The 12-storey building contained 60 residential units, with a number of offices for international media including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press, as well as Arab and local press.
In a statement, the Israeli army said it had struck the building becuase it housed “entities belonging to the military intelligence of the terrorist organization Hamas” without elaborating. (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)Silencing the Truth: Media Center in Gaza targeted by Israel
Journalists gather near the rubble of al-Jalaa Tower after an Israeli bombardment on Saturday.
Mohammed al-Hajjar, a photojournalist for MEE, was among those who left the building. He said the evacuation was a scene of panic and chaos as people rushed to take whatever they could and get out as quickly as they could.
He later returned to the site to inspect the wreckage: “There’s nothing left but our memories.” (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)
A media worker gathers what he can find of his belongings amid the rubble of al-Jalaa Tower in Gaza city, after it was destroyed in an Israeli air strike on 15 May 2021.
Middle East Eye has released a statement condemning Saturday’s attack:
“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.” (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)
Journalists search through the rubble of what used to be their workspace in al-Jalaa Tower in Gaza city, which was destroyed in an Israeli air strike on 15 May 2021.
In a statement released on Twitter, the White House said it had communicated to Israel that “ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.”
Health officials in the enclave said Israeli air and artillery strikes since Monday have killed 139 people including 39 children in Gaza while more than 1,000 have been wounded. (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)
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Featured image is from Middle East Eye
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