US press leaders urge Israel to halt targeting media outlets
Reliable media organizations must not be prevented from doing their vital job, say National Press Club leadership
Hours after an Israeli strike on Saturday destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed offices of media organizations, the US press leaders called on Israel to stop its attacks.
The missile strike "was the latest in a series of Israeli military attacks on facilities where journalists have been working to bring to the world the story of the ongoing conflict," the leadership of National Press Club said in a statement.
The club is the US' leading organization for journalists and based in Washington, DC.
National Press Club President Lisa Nicole Matthews and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Angela Greiling Keane said the airstrike "is part of a pattern this week of Israeli forces destroying buildings in Gaza that house media organizations."
"This trend prompts the question of whether Israeli forces are attacking these facilities to impair independent and accurate coverage of the conflict," said Matthews and Keane.
"Reliable media organizations are the best sources of accurate information about events in Gaza, and they must not be prevented from doing their vital job," they added.
Earlier in the day, Israeli warplanes fired multiple missiles at the al-Jalaa tower that housed offices of various media groups, including Qatar's Al Jazeera and the American Associated Press.
The 13-story building, one of Gaza's oldest multi-story buildings, had a total of 60 units, including offices of media companies, legal firms, and doctors.
Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip in airstrikes since May 10, killing at least 145 people, including 41 children and 23 women, and injuring 1,100 more people.
At least five multi-story buildings have been destroyed in the air raids on the besieged Palestinian territory.