Israel/Gaza: Unlawful Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Media

Missiles Kill Two Media Workers, Toddler; 10 Wounded

(Gaza City, December 20, 2012) – Four Israeli attacks on journalists and media facilities in Gaza during the November 2012 fighting violated the laws of war by targeting civilians and civilian objects that were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations, Human Rights Watch said today, after a detailed investigation into the incidents.

The attacks killed two Palestinian cameramen, wounded at least 10 media workers, and badly damaged four media offices, as well as the offices of four private companies, Human Rights Watch said. One of the attacks killed a two-year-old boy who lived across the street from a targeted building.

The Israeli government asserted that each of the four attacks was on a legitimate military target but provided no specific information to support its claims. After examining the attack sites and interviewing witnesses, Human Rights Watch found no indications that these targets were valid military objectives.

Photographs

  • The damaged Gaza City office of al-Quds TV in the Shawa and Housari Building in Gaza City, hit by Israeli missiles on November 18, 2012. Seven staff members were wounded, including a cameraman who lost his leg below the knee.
    © 2012 Anne Paq for Human Rights Watch

  • Israeli forces targeted this antenna tower on the roof of the Shawa and Housari Building in Gaza City on November 18, 2012, claiming without specific information that Hamas was using it for military communications. The tower remained intact but the strike wounded seven staff members from al-Quds TV, which had an office on the top floor.
    © 2012 Anne Paq for Human Rights Watch

  • The entry hole and fragments of an Israeli missile that hit the Ghazi Sourani Research Center in the Naama Building on November 20, 2012. Israel struck the building six times over two days, saying without details that it had “surgically targeted” a Hamas “intelligence and command center.”
    © 2012 Fred Abrahams/Human Rights Watch

  • Workers clean up the office of AES Engineering Services in the Naama Building in Gaza City. Israeli missiles struck the building six times over two days on November 20 and 21, 2012. Israel said without details that it had “surgically targeted” a Hamas “intelligence and command center.”
    © 2012 Fred Abrahams/Human Rights Watch

  • Abdelrahman Naim, 2, was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli missile strike on the Naama Building on November 21, 2012.
    Courtesy of Naim family

  • The deputy manager of al-Aqsa TV, Mohamed Abu Oun, inspects the car that two al-Aqsa cameraman were riding in when an Israeli missile struck them in Gaza City on November 20, 2012. The Israeli military said that Mahmoud al-Kumi, 29, and Hussam Salama, 30, were “Hamas operatives” but gave no information to support the claim.
    © 2012 Fred Abrahams/Human Rights Watch