U.S. Press Leaders Urge Israel to Halt Strikes on Media Facilities

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. press leaders called for Israel to stop attacking buildings that house journalists in…

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. press leaders called for Israel to stop attacking buildings that house journalists in Gaza after an Israeli missile destroyed the al-Jalaa building, which housed offices of the Associated Press, al Jazeera and other news organizations. 

Israeli officials said they struck the al-Jalaa building because Hamas used part of it.

But Saturdays strike was the latest in a series of Israeli military attacks on facilities where journalists have been working to bring to the world the story of the ongoing conflict. 

On May 11 and May 12, Israeli warplanes bombed two other buildings that housed more than a dozen international and local media outlets.

National Press Club President Lisa Nicole Matthews and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Angela Greiling Keane issued the following statement:

The Israeli airstrike on an office tower in Gaza Saturday is part of a pattern this week of Israeli forces destroying buildings in Gaza that house media organizations. After Israeli forces provided warning of the attacks, journalists and other civilians were able to escape death. But, as AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt put it, AP journalists and freelancers saw their equipment destroyed and narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life.’« 

This trend prompts the question of whether Israeli forces are attacking these facilities to impair independent and accurate coverage of the conflict.

We call upon Israeli authorities to halt strikes on facilities known to house press. 

Reliable media organizations are the best sources of accurate information about events in Gaza, and they must not be prevented from doing their vital job.»

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the worlds leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Clubs non-profit affiliate, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.

Contact: John Donnelly, NPC Press Freedom Team Chairman: jdonnelly@cq.com, 202 650 6738

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SOURCE National Press Club