Israel’s explanation for killing two journalists in Gaza? Palestinians aren’t journalists, they’re ‘targets’

Israel/Palestine
Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister explains to al-Jazeera English that Palestinians from Gaza are not “legitimate journalist.” (Video: al-Jazeer English)

After a second Israeli attack on a media building in two days, this time killing two journalists, the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, Mark Regev explains to al-Jazeera English that because the journalists were Palestinian the Israel military considered them legitimate “targets.” Regev’s remarks were made just a few hours after the November 19, 2012 bombing of al-Shuruq Tower and another building used to house the offices of several media outlets, including both Palestinian and international networks.

Speaking to al-Jazeera, Regev said, “We took out the target that we wanted to take out.” When pressed by al-Jazeera over the injuries of eight journalists the previous day, where one lost his leg, Regev continued,

Oh you’re talking about… oh first of all maybe we have a discussion about who is a journalist and if you’ll allow me I will elaborate on this. There is the al-Aqsa station, which is a station that is a Hamas command and control facility, just as in other totalitarian regimes; the media is used by the regime for command and control and also for security purposes. From our point of view that’s not a legitimate journalist.

Al-Jazeera’s correspondent then followed-up by asking, “So what are you saying? That a local Arab journalist life is any less than an internationalist journalist?” Apparently for Regev, yes, in Gaza there are no legitimate Palestinian journalists, only targets.

For a second time in two days, Israel targets media buildings in Gaza. (Video: al-Jazeera English)

This callous disregard for human life should come as no surprise to us. Yesterday after the first strike on the Shawa and Hossari Building the Foreign Press Association in Israel issued a letter noting that a United Nations Security Council resolution says that journalists covering conflict civilians that must be protected. Israeli military spokesperson Avital Leibovich responded “The journalists in these buildings were serving as human shields for Hamas,” knowing full well the building included the offices of Sky News, al-Arabiya news network, Dubai TV al-Aqsa TV, Russia Today, and Lebanese, German and Italian news teams and more.

About Allison Deger and Annie Robbins

Allison Deger is an Assistant Editor for Mondoweiss. Annie Robbins is Writer at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist.

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