21/11/2012

Gaza: Israel bombs journalists

Gaza, 19 November, 2012 - The Al-Sharouk compound, which houses many media offices in Gaza, has been targeted once again in an Israeli airstrike.

The International Federation of Journalists demanded a full inquiry by the United Nations to investigate “deliberate attacks” by the Israeli military against media buildings in Gaza and to “take action” against the country’s government.

"The international community must respond immediately to this outrage. The rights of journalists in conflict zones have been particularly highlighted by the United Nations and members states cannot stand by when one state acts in a reckless and dangerous manner," the group released in a statement on Monday.

Six journalists were injured following a previous Israeli airstrike on two buildings in the media compound early on Sunday.

Sky News, Italian RAI, German ARD, Kuwait-TV are among the media outlets working out of the compound. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa is located on the top floor.

Some of those injured on Sunday were employees of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency. A cameraman for the local al-Quds TV had his leg amputated as a result of injuries he received during the strike.

The Middle East Foreign Press Association demanded an explanation as to why the IDF was targeting media buildings, which is a violation of international law, following Sunday's airstrike. Reporters Without Borders also condemned the Israeli missile attacks.

The Israeli military said 'it was aware that foreign journalists were in the buildings, but were not directly targeted in the airstrikes'...

Smoke is seen after an after an Israeli air strike, witnessed by a Reuters journalist, out of a floor in a building that also houses media offices in Gaza City November 19, 2012. (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)

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Israel said it was 'deeply grateful to the United States'

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1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was 'deeply grateful to the United States' after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

4) On Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.

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