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IS ISRAEL TARGETING JOURNALISTS IN GAZA?

November 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

Tensions continued to mount between the news media and Israel today (Tuesday) as airstrikes on Gaza hit a building housing the headquarters of several news organizations. The attack was aimed at heading the media operations of the militant group Islamic Jihad, and it succeeded. Israel said that it had killed Ramez Harb, the group’s media chief. While reports indicated that most journalists abandoned the building after two strikes hit on Monday, several remained in the building, including reporters for the Saudi-owned satellite broadcaster Al Arabiya, and injuries were reported. The owner of a shop located on the third floor of the building also reportedly died in the attack. The journalism school Poynter published a message on Twitter from Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor of Slate.com, from Jerusalem: “I am worried about my friends here who are war correspondents. I am worried about terrified children in Gaza. I am also worried about how I will explain to my sons why we are staying, but I’m more worried about what I would tell them if we left. … I am worried about how this can possibly ever end if just tweeting about peace is an international act of aggression.” A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces responded on the Poynter site, complaining of the lack of “condemnation regarding the cynical use of journalists as shields by terrorist organization[s]. … Finally, when the IDF is forced to target terrorist sites near civilians or journalists, we do everything we can do to warn them and reduce harm, including dropping leaflets, making phone calls and sending text messages. Even when forced to act, we use only the most precise weapons possible.”