The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia strongly condemns the Israeli bombing of media offices and settlements in the Gaza Strip in Palestine. The attack was clearly an attempt to silence the press and censor the media in covering the truth during the conflict.
Therefore, AJI calls for solidarity to support journalists whose offices were destroyed by bombs, and urges the United Nations (UN) to immediately take responsibility for protecting journalists and ensuring the safety of their reporting in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone.
AJI views that increasing international concern for media protection is urgent following the escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
As reported by Anadolu Agency, the Israeli offensive in Gaza injured 10 journalists and destroyed 32 media offices. Meanwhile, their missile attack destroyed the Al Jalaa tower, the joint offices of several news agencies such as Aljazeera TV, the Associated Press (AP), and the Doha Media Center. According to Reuters, on May 19, the bombs have already injured 1,400 Palestinians and killed 215 people, including 61 children, and Israeli authorities say 12 people were killed, including two children, in Israel.
The protection of journalists is a duty that must be respected by all countries involved in any conflict as it is guaranteed by international law. Therefore, the Israeli bombing of media offices is inappropriate that violates norms and treaties, and is even categorized as a criminal act.
In response to the above situation, the following is AJI Indonesia's statement:
1. We strongly condemn violence against journalists, media, and civilians in the Gaza Strip. Attacks against journalists constitute silence and censorship of acts of violence that may be deliberately covered up. It will also worsen the lives of Palestinians and block their access to humanitarian aid.
2. We view Israel's brutal attacks on journalists, media, and civil society as extraordinary crimes to which international law must respond.
3. We urge the United Nations (UN) and the international community to take the initiative to pressure the Israeli military and Hamas to stop all attacks that have endangered the lives of journalists and civilians, both in Palestine and in parts of Israel.
4. We also urge the UN to immediately seek full protection for journalists working in the Gaza Strip and ensure that information can be disclosed safely and widely to an international audience.
5. We call on the international journalist community to stand in solidarity and jointly respond to the crucial conditions facing journalists and civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Jakarta, 20th of May 2021
Chair of AJI Indonesia
Ika Ningtyas Unggraini
Division of International and Inter-institutional Relations
Renjani Sari (coordinator)
AJI Hotline: 08111137820