During the Ongoing Israeli Offensive on Gaza Strip: Israel Targets Press Offices and Cultural Institutions

On Saturday, 04 May 2019, during the ongoing Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes targeted a press office and a cultural institution with several missiles.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 20:00, Israeli warplanes targeted a 6-story-residential building in eastern Gaza City, where Anadolu News Agency is located, and completely destroyed it. The building owner, Iyad Yaser Iqtifan (45), said that he received a phone call at 19:30 and the caller asked him about the Anadolu News Agency, which is located in his building. The caller ordered Iyad and the residents of the building to evacuate within half an hour. Half an hour later, an Israeli drone targeted the abovementioned building with five missiles and then an Israeli warplane targeted the building with 2 more missiles. As a result, the building was completely destroyed and no casualties were reported. It should be noted that the building was also home to the Prisoners Information Office .

In a separate incident, at approximately 21:05, Israeli warplanes targeted al-Khuzundar residential building which was comprised of 5 stories, in Al-Rimal neighborhood in central Gaza City, and completely destroyed it. It should be noted that the abovementioned building included the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Abdullah Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation as well as the Turkish charity Yardimeli Dernegi.

It seems that press offices and cultural institutions have become a target for the Israeli occupation forces during their recent offensives on the Gaza Strip. It should be noted that on 09 August 2018, Israeli warplanes destroyed Sa’ed al-Mishal Cultural Centre in western Gaza City.

PCHR affirms that the Israeli policy of targeting civilian buildings, which include press offices and cultural institutions, constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law, in particular Article 52 of Additional Protocol I of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates that civilian objects shall not be the object of attack and that attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. Moreover, in case of doubt whether an object, which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not be so used and therefore be considered as a civilian building. Moreover, direct and deliberate targeting of civilian objects is a war crime in accordance with Article 8 paragraph 2 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

(Source / 05.05.2019)

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