A day after offices of Aljazeera and Associated Press were destroyed in an attack by Israeli forces, in the ongoing conflict in Jerusalem, the Editors Guild of India issued a statement saying they ‘strongly condemn the brazen airstrikes on a building in Gaza that housed the editorial offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press’.
The statement signed by President Seema Mustafa, General Secretary Sanjay Kapoor, and Treasurer Anant Nath read:
“The bombing raid on Saturday, 15 May 2021, demolished the 12-story building, destroying much of the camera and editing equipment, and severely affecting the news reporting and broadcasting capabilities of the two organisations. Besides the loss of hardware and office space, the bombing destroyed what was described as ‘home’ by some of the journalists. Given the recent background of escalating conflict in this region, EGI sees this as a de facto attack on news media by the Israeli government, which can disrupt the flow of news from this highly-volatile region and which has global security implications.
The Guild demands that the Israeli government gives a detailed justification of the decision-making behind this attack, along with evidentiary proof. The Guild also calls for the Israeli government to facilitate a UN-monitored investigation into this bombing raid. Further, the Guild urges the Indian government to take up this issue with the Israeli government, demanding an independent inquiry and reiterating the need for ensuring safety of journalists in any conflict situation.”
What Is Happening Between Israel and Palestine Forces?
At the heart of the conflict in East Jerusalem, which has been in the news for the escalating conflict in the holy month of Ramadan, is an Israeli Supreme Court ruling.
The ruling is on a long-running legal case regarding the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood near the Damascus Fate that was given to Israeli settlers.
As the date for the ruling neared, Palestinians and left-wing Israelis held more and more demonstrations, stating that this eviction would pave the way for further removal of people from the area. On 7 May, Israeli security forces attacked worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque. In the attacks that were caught on camera, the forces can be seen using tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated bullets.
The ruling was due on 10 May, but was postponed. Reuters reports that a new session will be scheduled within 30 days. Then on 15 May, Israel’s military demolished a building that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and AP.
At least 139 people, including children, have died since the Israeli attacks began, AP has reported. While Israeli military has said that the attacks are a retaliation to the Palestinian firing of rockets into Israel, experts have condemned Israeli attacks by stating that the escalation was a result of Israel’s own attacks in Sheikh Jarrah.
Multiple countries have condemned the violence. India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said New Delhi was deeply concerned about the clashes and violence in Haram Al Sharif and Temple Mount, and the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods.
He said India calls on ‘both sides to avoid changing the status-quo on the ground’.
The US seeked a virtual meet on the UN Security Council to address the escalation of conflict in the area. The US said it will not support de-escalatory efforts and asked for an open debate on the matter. Biden “reaffirmed his strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas” on 15 May.
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