Media crackdownIsrael has carried out hundreds of air strikes across the land-locked, impoverished and blockaded territory, which has yet to fully recover from the destruction of the 2014 Israeli invasion destroyed upwards of 25% of the Gaza City, totalling nearly $7.8 billion dollars in damages, which is about 3 times Gaza's total annual GDP. Israel has since restricted or presented the delivery of aid and construction materials to Gaza for alleged security reasons, leading to the critical decay of the city's vital infrastructure for its 2 million inhabitants.
Most recently, Israeli airstrikes have destroyed a number of high-rise buildings. On Saturday, a high-rise building housing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices was destroyed, with millions of dollars of media equipment destroyed. Other media outlets that occupied the 12-story al-Jalaa building were similarly affected.
Activists believe the military bombing was done with the tactical purpose of restricting media coverage from within Gaza, to manage global sympathies. Photos circulated by residents and journalists showed air strikes on Saturday punched a crater into one of the main roads leading to Shifa hospital, the largest medical center in the strip. headtopics.com
“The campaign will continue as long as it is required,” Netanyahu said in a televised speech Saturday. He alleged that "Hamas military intelligence" was operating inside the building, without providing any proof.Israel routinely cites a Hamas presence as a reason for targeting certain locations in airstrikes, including residential buildings, without providing any proof.
The military also has accused Hamas of using journalists as human shields, but has yet to provide evidence to justify its claims. Media outlets have operated from the building for more than 15 years, through three wars between Israel and Gaza. The top floor brought the world 24-hour live feeds of the aerial raids and bombardment of the land-locked city.
“We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building,” AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement.“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” Pruitt said. “We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken later spoke by phone with Pruitt, offering support for independent journalists and media organisations. In a press statement, the White House revealed it had communicated with Israel urging it safety for journalists. headtopics.com
The continued violence provoked protests in dozens of major cities around the world, with record numbers of protests held in North America to condemn the senseless violence. In London, nearly 150,000 people protested Israeli violence against Palestinians and called for an end to the brutality.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Paris saw attempts to disperse them by police water cannon, while in Copenhagen tear gas was used on crowds that included women and children among them. Read more: TRT World »
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