Reporters Without Borders condemns Israeli strikes

Associated Press Modified: November 18, 2012 at 11:01 am •  Published: November 18, 2012
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PARIS (AP) — Reporters Without Borders has condemned Israeli missile attacks on two media centers in Gaza that wounded six Palestinian journalists Sunday and damaged the equipment of foreign media outlets.

The attacks on the two high-rise buildings damaged offices of the Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, and a Lebanese-based broadcaster, Al Quds TV, seen as sympathetic to the Islamists. Germany's public broadcaster ARD; Russia Today, a state TV network that broadcasts in English; and Sky News Arabia said they lost equipment in the attacks.

A Gaza press association said six Palestinian journalists were wounded, including one who lost a leg.

Christophe Deloire, the director of Reporters Without Borders' international headquarters in Paris, called the attacks unjustified and a threat to freedom of information. He demanded an investigation into the circumstances of the raid.

"Even though the outlets targeted are linked to Hamas, it does not legitimize the attacks," he said. "Attacks against civilian targets constitute war crimes."

The Israeli military said the strikes targeted Hamas communications equipment on the buildings' rooftops and accused the group of using journalists as "human shields."

Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, urged journalists to stay clear of Hamas bases and facilities.

In Moscow, Russia Today, a state TV network that broadcasts in English, reported that the office of its Arabic-language channel, Rusiya Al-Yaum, was heavily damaged in the strike but none of the crew was injured.

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