In yet another instance of precision bombing by Israeli forces of Palestinians an 11-story tower was demolished instantly by Israeli missiles on Saturday, 15 May 2021. An hour’s notice was given to the journalists to evacuate and no journalist lives were lost. Apart from the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press the building housed several other offices and about residential apartments. The building had only one elevator.
On Sunday, 16 May the Editors Guild of India issued a statement saying it ‘strongly condemns the brazen airstrikes on a building in Gaza that housed the editorial offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.’ A spokesman for AP in New York said that the bombing of a building that had particularly good sight lines across Gaza would only mean less information flow to the outside world about what is happening there.
The Editors Guild of India statement signed by president Seema Mustafa, general secretary Sanjay Kapoor, and treasurer Anant Nath reads –
“The bombing raid on Saturday, 15 May 2021, demolished the 12-story building, destroying much of the camera and editing equipment, and severely affecting the news reporting and broadcasting capabilities of the two organizations. Besides the loss of hardware and office space, the bombing destroyed what was described as ‘home’ by some of the journalists. Given the recent background of escalating conflict in this region, EGI sees this as a de facto attack on news media by the Israeli government, which can disrupt the flow of news from this highly-volatile region and which has global security implications.
The Editors Guild of india demands that the Israeli government gives a detailed justification of the decision-making behind this attack, along with evidentiary proof. The Guild also calls for the Israeli government to facilitate a UN-monitored investigation into this bombing raid. Further, the Editors Guild of india urges the Indian government to take up this issue with the Israeli government, demanding an independent inquiry and reiterating the need for ensuring safety of journalists in any conflict situation.”