National Press Club

Press Club expresses concern over reported attacks on journalists in Gaza

November 28, 2012 | By John Donnelly | jdonnelly@cq.com

The National Press Club has expressed grave concern about reports of recent attacks on reporters by Israeli military forces and urged militaries everywhere to safeguard the press during armed conflicts.

During the recent fighting in Gaza, Israel Defense Forces reportedly injured numerous reporters and killed in a drone strike three people who some said were reporters but who the Israeli government said were terrorists.

Israeli Defense Forces officials have contended that those killed were combatants masquerading as journalists, presumably so that they wouldn't be attacked. Other reports have indicated they were working for Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds Educational Radio, outlets affiliated with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and has been branded a terrorist organization by the United States.

In addition to the drone strikes, Israel's military confirmed attacked two buildings in Gaza known to be housing journalists from several international news organizations in addition to the Hamas-affiliated outlets. The attacks injured at least seven reporters, according to dispatches.

"Even if some of the facts about one attack earlier this month are in dispute, it appears that Israel at least was reckless in targeting a building housing working journalists covering the Gaza conflict,'' Club President Theresa Werner said. ``One principle applies to every country, including the United States: it's not acceptable to target or even risk endangering non-combatant journalists."

Werner has urged that an independent investigation be conducted to determine what happened.