Gaza – Mohammed Habib
Ismail Haneyeh has praised the role of Palestinian media and journalists in the recent Israeli offensive against Gaza. Speaking to reporters, the Gaza Prime Minister said that local journalists had "defeated the Israeli media" just
as the "resistance defeated their army."
He paid tribute to media personnel who lost their lives in the battle, announcing that he intended to exempt radio stations and satellite channels from paying licensing fees for a year.
The Gaza Media Office has confirmed the death of three journalists during the Gaza conflict, with 20 suffering injuries. An Israeli attack at satellite channel Al-Quds injured seven people. Emad al-Afranji, the director of the channel’s Gaza office, told Arabstoday that the hit has enhanced staff morale. "The enemy’s war on the image that defeated it in a war must be faced with a real and serious Arab movement,” he said, urging Arab media ministers to visit Gaza and inspect the damage done.
Al-Afranji also called on international and regional press and media organizations, especially the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters without Borders and the Federation of Arab Journalists, to perform their role in defending Palestinian journalists and providing them with full protection against Israeli might.
Mareia Al-Aqsa, another media company in Gaza, was targeted by Israeli fire on the third day of the bombardment. Director Saed Radwan confirmed that their studio and equipment in the Al-Shorouk Tower was significantly damaged. He said local media had succeeded in flustering the occupation through their live coverage of events in Gaza during the eight days of the aggression.
He also claimed that the attack on the building was down to the organisation's exposure of Israeli bombardment. "The occupation was furious when Al-Mareia was able to report from inside prisons and convey the prisoners’ suffering on a daily basis,” Radwan said.
He called on human rights organisations to help protect journalists in Gaza and ensure that those responsible for crimes against the press and freedom of expression are brought to trial.