By Reporters Without Borders
The press freedoms watchdog Reporters Without Borders is calling on International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate Israeli airstrikes, which it says it regards as war crimes.
Targeted Israeli airstrikes have destroyed the premises of 23 Palestinian and international media outlets in the Gaza Strip in the past ten days. Those destroyed by last Saturday’s airstrikes include the bureaux of the US news agency, the Associated Press, and the Qatari TV broadcaster Al Jazeera.
RSF said that what the Israeli military has claimed, namely that the buildings destroyed in these attacks were legitimate military targets because of an alleged Hamas presence, is completely false from the legal viewpoint because these buildings were also housing civilians, in this case, journalists and their installations and equipment. RSF maintains that, by deliberately destroying media infrastructure, the Israeli military violated Resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists, which the UN Security Council unanimously adopted in May 2015, as well as the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute (applicable to the Palestinian Territories)*.
The Israel Defence Forces are inflicting unacceptable material damage on news organisations and, more broadly, are obstructing media coverage of a conflict that directly affects the civilian population.