Julie Webb-Pullman reports

Gaza media professionals pay tribute to dead, wounded journalists

24 November 2012

In two separate press conferences in Gaza City today members of the media, the Journalists Union, and the Ministry of Information paid tribute to the three Gazan journalists killed, and the seventeen wounded during the 8-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

They noted that media offices were targeted because they were revealing the crimes of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and the lies of the Israeli media. The three dead were Mahmoud Al-Komi and Hossam Salama, photographers for Al Aqsa Channel, and Mohammad Abu Aisha, Manager of Education Al Quds Radio Station.

Mohammad Abu Aisha tribute outside Karmel Building, Gaza City

The offices of three media agencies were damaged – Al Quds TV, Al Aqsa Visual, and Al Jil Al-Kadim, while 24 media offices were partially damaged when the buildings in which they are housed were targeted. The buildings were Shawa Al-Hosari, Al-Shrouk, and Neama Building and some of the agencies affected were Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia, German TV station ARD, Arab TV stations MBC and Abu Dhabi TV, Al-Arabiya, Reuters, Russia Today and the Ma’an news agency.

Radio stations and channels like Al Quds, Al Aqsa, and Palestine Today were hacked, and electronic attacks were also carried out on Safa, Sama, Palestine Today and The Independent newspaper.

At a wake at the home of Hassam Salama Director of the Government Media Office Ihab al-Ghussein praised the work of the media during the recent offensive, condemned the crimes against them and expressed his hope that those killed will rest in peace, and that their work will be continued by those left behind.

Yasser Abu Heen, Head of Gaza Journalists Union called on the International Journalists Federation and Reporters Without Borders to intervene immediately to fulfill their obligations towards Palestinian journalists and to take legal action against the head of the IOF to hold them accountable.

They also called upon the Federation of Journalists to send a delegation to see with their own eyes what has occurred in Gaza, and on Arabic and Islamic journalists’ associations to fund-raise for specialised training courses such as working safely in a time of war.

They concluded with a call for the Palestinain Government, particularly the Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, to provide help and support for local Palestinian media agencies who performed so well during the time of war.

At an event outside the Karmel Building, co-workers paid tribute to Mohammad Abu Aisha, who died when his house was bombed. “Killing the journalists of Gaza will not stop the media covering the crimes of the IOF,” they said, adding that they promise to honour Mohammad by completing his duty and doing his job as if he is still among them.

Translation: Fatma Al Hasham

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