Gaza – Press House
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, Press House- Palestine (BAS) organized a dialogue session on the topic of “Violations against Media Freedoms during the Aggression on the Gaza Strip (Experiences & Witnesses,” as part of “Journalists Have Power” project activities in partnership with the French Consulate in Jerusalem.
With consideration of high prevention measures to prevent the outbreak of COVID 19, the session was held at Press House with participation of Mr. Hisham Zaqout, Reporter at Aljazeera, and he was covering news during the aggression while Aljazeera office was completely destroyed. The session was attended by a number of journalists (women and men) and media students and graduates.
Mr. Abdullah Sharsharah, Lawyer and Coordinator of Legal Protection Unit for Journalists at Press House, opened the session, welcomed the attendance, and presented the violations committed by Israeli occupation against Journalists (women and men) during the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Sharsharah mentioned that Press House has documented 72 violations during the aggression that led to killing 1 Journalist, 2 media graduates, and a woman working at serving Journalists in addition to 10 physical injuries among Journalists.
He also explained the distribution of documented violations; 4 panic attack cases, 26 destruction of media institutions due to the bombing, 7 partial damage of media institutions, 15 houses for Journalists were damaged, 5 cases of destruction for Journalists’ cars, and 4 cyber-attacks against Palestinian press websites in the Gaza strip.
Mr. Sharsharah also asked the international institutions working in media freedoms for holding Israel accountable and forming investigative neutral committees to investigate Israeli violations against International Humanitarian Law.
The Legal Protection Unit Coordinator stressed that Israeli Occupation has always been committing violations against media freedoms by preventing the entrance of occupational safety equipment for Journalists. He also mentioned that the absence of such equipment will lead to more injuries among Journalists.
From his part, Mr. Hisham Zaqout, Reporter at Aljazeera, talked about the challenges and violations against Journalists during the aggression, especially by when the occupation destroyed Aljala’a tower including many national and international press offices, and one of them was Aljazeera office in the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Zaqout said, “we faced many difficulties while we were covering massacres committed by Israeli Occupation targeting the same place many times despite the existence of Journalists.”
He also mentioned the occupation targeted his colleagues working at Anadolu Agency while they were covering earlier Israeli bombardment, as the occupation forces were deliberately targeted the same place while they were there.
In addition, Mr. Zaqout pointed out that many Journalists who had been working at Aljala’a tower lost a lot of their equipment and archives considering this action as a direct targeting of Journalism to affect its media coverage of Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip badly.