CPJ: Three Journalists injured by Israeli airstrikes
Smoke billows from a Gaza City neighborhood after an Israeli airstrike - AFP/Mohammed Abed
By MUHAMMAD GHAMRAWY

CAIRO: Three journalists have been injured following Israeli airstrikes on buildings housing media outlets in Gaza, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in its Friday’s statement condemning the offensive.

“The Israel Defense Forces know where media outlets are located in Gaza, “said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour.

Last week, a driver, who works for a Palestinian news agency, was killed following an Israeli airstrike that has targeted the press vehicle he drove, according to CPJ.

Palestine has been under the Israeli shelling 11 days ago.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza, pounding the enclave from both the air and the sea.

Additionally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Thursday evening launching a ground incursion into Gaza

The Palestinian death toll since the start of the conflict passed  307 and 2260 injured.

One Israeli soldier was killed overnight during the ground incursion, in addition to other three that were injured, according to media reports.

Three Journalists injured

Early Friday, Muhammad Shabat, cameraman for Watania Media Agency was injured in his hand after an Israeli airstrike hit the headquarters of the media agency in the Al-Jawhara tower in Gaza, CPJ said.

It added that many other Palestinian outlets in the same building were damaged.

Hani Ghazal, Watania’s communications officer, told CPJ that  the airstrike was carried out by a helicopter adding that the news agency has shut down two of its production studios but is still operating.

On Wednesday, Ahmad al-Ajala, host of Sawt al-Watan radio station, and Tariq Hamdieh, correspondent for the station, were injured as well.

Loui Abou Amr, the station manager, said the station has shut down because the attack destroyed the broadcasting equipments.

“Attacking media outlets is a violation of the international law and denies journalists their right to protection as civilians in war zone,” Mansour said.

Evacuation & Waiver

In preparation for the ground incursion, CPJ said the Israel ordered foreign journalists to evacuate beach hotels in Gaza Thursday.

Lyce Doucet of BBC said that she heard a rocket fire sound before the Israeli warning, according to BBC.

The Israeli army was requiring journalists entering Gaza to sign waiver in case of injury or death, Sophia Jones, Middle East correspondent works for RTS said on her twitter account.

NBC reporter back to Gaza

The NBC reporter, Ayman Mohyeldin, who was pulled from Gaza days ago, after he witnessed an Israeli attack that killed four Palestinian children playing on the beach, is back to Gaza after NBC’s retreated from its decision following mounting criticism.

In his Face book published, Ayman published NBC’s statement announcing he we will be back to Gaza over the weekend.

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