Reporters Without Borders
|Reporters Without Borders|
|Sponsored by||Luminate, MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy, The Ford Foundation|
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) (RSF) is an international non-profit and non-governmental organisation (NGO) that safeguards the right to freedom of information. RSF's advocacy is founded on the belief that everyone requires access to the news and information, inspired by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognises the right to receive and share information regardless of frontiers, along with other international rights charters.
RSF has consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
Israeli war crimes in Gaza
On 21 May 2021, RSF reported:
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.
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).*
- (To protect journalists and their installations, these documents require combatants to distinguish between journalistic installations and military targets and, again for the protection of journalistic installations and equipment, they require combatants to respect the principle of proportionality.)
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.
RSF has formally asked International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate these airstrikes, which we regard as war crimes.
Hamas denies military presence
Basem Naim, a Hamas official who is the head of the Council on International Relations in Gaza, told The Intercept:
“Hamas did not have any military or intelligence operations in Al-Jalaa Tower. We don’t operate anything related to the military wing from civilian houses."
Naim told The Intercept that Hamas may have had a civilian office in the Al-Jalaa Tower, since offices used for civilian administration are spread throughout the territory, but unequivocally denied the Israeli claim that Hamas operated a military intelligence unit in the building. He and other Hamas officials believe that Israel targeted the building in order to make it more difficult for Associated Press and Al-Jazeera journalists to disseminate reports, videos, and photographs of Israeli air and artillery assaults on Gaza:
“This is one of the strategies of the Israeli military — to prevent the press from doing its job,” he said, pointing to a video that circulated widely online on 15 May of the owner of the Al-Jalaa building pleading by phone with an Israeli military official to allow 10 more minutes for journalists to reenter the building and collect more of their equipment.
Rebuttals by the media
The Associated Press released a statement from its president and CEO, Gary Pruitt, who said he was “shocked and horrified” by the bombing:
- “AP’s bureau has been in this building for 15 years,” Pruitt said. “We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building. This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.”
In a similar statement, Al-Jazeera Media Network’s acting Director General Mostefa Souag said:
- “The aim of this heinous crime is to silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza.”
|Luminate||Pierre Omidyar's foundation for financing global media and civil society groups. It is unknown how close it aligns to certain US government agencies.|
|MacArthur Foundation||Finances non-profit organizations and select people in approximately 50 countries around the world, buying immense cultural and political influence. It often coordinates its priorities with other deep state foundations, creating a mesh of grants, cross-grants and sub-grants that is very hard to analyze.|
|National Endowment for Democracy||The "traditional intermediary of the CIA", promoting the US "national interest" by "soft power".|
|The Ford Foundation||In addition to its own billionaire agenda, also known to have been $$$ middleman for covert CIA funding.|
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