Gaza media professionals hail Erdogan's support

Photo: Gaza media professionals hail Erdogan's support / Turkey

A host of media professionals highly valued a call by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to show support for Palestinian journalists and provide them with protection against Israeli attacks, Anadolu agency reported.

"We highly value Erdogan's stances in support of the Palestinian cause and Gaza journalists," Wessam Afifieh, editor-in-chief of Al-Resala newspaper, told Anadolu Agency.

On Sunday, Erdogan lambasted international silence at Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists, citing the killing of 10 media professionals during a devastating Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and an assault on the building housing Anadolu Agency's Gaza office.

"Are there any reactions from the world? Where are the international media and press organizations?...Why don't you see the journalists killed in Palestine?" he asked in an electoral rally in Istanbul.

Erdogan's remarks were warmly received by the Palestinian journalists, calling for an international campaign to bring Israel to account over its attacks against Palestinian journalists.

"Erdogan's stance needs to be translated into action in order to bring the Israeli army to account and pursue legal action against Israel for its crimes against the Palestinian journalists," Afifieh told AA.

Afifeh's paper was one of the media outlets that lost one of their personnel in the Israeli attack. Mohamed Dhaher was killed on Thursday in Israeli shelling of his house in the Shujaya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City.

The attack, according to Afifieh, was part of Israel's "systematic targeting" of Palestinian media personnel.

"The journalists in the Gaza Strip are isolated by international organizations which should have provided them with protection against attacks during conflicts," Afifieh said.

Nasr Abu Foul, head of the Palestinian Network for Media and Press, also lauded Erdogan's statements, saying that it boosts the determination of the affected Palestinian media outlets to take Israel to court over its "crimes."

The network had already lost two of its journalists in the Israeli onslaught. Rami Rayan was killed in Israeli shelling of a Shujaya market, while Mohamed al-Deeri was killed in another Israeli attack.

"The network has assigned a lawyer to file a lawsuit with The Hague to hold Israel accountable for the killing of its two journalists," he added.

"The lawsuit, to be filed on Sunday, calls for bringing Israel to the book for its crimes against the journalists, including the killing of 10 journalists," he added.

Abu Foul also called on Erdogan to adopt the network's lawsuit to ensure that that an action would be taken against Israel.

Wessam al-Mahalwi, director of Al-Ketab channel, joined the chorus of praise.

"We hope [Erdogan's] stance would be shored up by a tangible action by Turkey to hold Israeli war criminals accountable," said al-Mahalwi, who lost his colleague Abdel-Rahman Ziyad in Israeli shelling of his house in Shujaya.

"The Israeli military attacks against Gaza media outlets and journalists only aim to silence the voice of truth and prevent the exposure of the occupation crimes," he said. "Israeli would never be able to do that."

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 1867 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed and 9470 wounded in unrelenting Israeli attacks since July 7.

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