Turkey's state-owned Anadolu Agency (AA) has offered its offices and services in Gaza to international media outlets targeted by Israeli attacks.
“We at the Turkish global wire Anadolu Agency are appalled by the Israeli military targeting and destroying” the offices of the Associated Press (AP) and Qatar’s Al Jazeera in Gaza, wrote Serdar Karagöz, AA director-general, in letters to AP CEO Gary Pruitt and Al Jazeera’s Chairperson Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani.
“Since this recent conflict has escalated over the past week, there is an apparent pattern of targeting journalists who are carrying out their professional duties so as to block coverage of the situation on the ground,” he said.
Karagöz stressed that the international community “must say stop” to Israel targeting journalists and innocent civilians, especially children.
Journalists are documenting human rights violations and war crimes in the conflict and helping write history, said Karagöz, adding that it is “unacceptable” that Israeli forces target media outlets to try to choke off the free flow of information.
Our prayers are with the journalists who narrowly escaped Israel’s bombing, he added.
Israeli warplanes on Saturday destroyed a tower building in Gaza that housed the offices of various media outlets, including Al Jazeera and AP.
AA reporters have also been targeted by Israeli forces twice, said Karagöz, with six of its employees injured during the last week.
“Our Middle East News Editor Turgut Alp Boyraz was shot in the leg with two plastic bullets during a brutal police raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said.
He expressed solidarity with media outlets and condemned the attacks, urging all media outlets and other institutions worldwide “to denounce the bombings and hold Israeli authorities accountable.”
“In this hour of grief, kindly convey our deepest sympathies to your staff working in Gaza,” he added.
Karagöz also stressed the importance of showing solidarity and unity in such difficult times “to uphold the principles of fair, objective journalism and the valued doctrine of freedom of the press, which is under immense threat from Israeli authorities.”
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