Israel has killed at least six journalists in Gaza since the start of the aggression.
Qatar Press Center has condemned Israel’s “deliberate targeting” of civilians and journalists in Gaza, where six journalists have been killed in five days of consecutive Israeli bombing.
A statement by the Qatari entity on Tuesday slammed the Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) “brutal crimes and aggression” and its treatment of journalists as targets in the ongoing war on the besieged Palestinian enclave.
“The Center stresses the need to prevent the Israeli occupation forces from using ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ as a pretext to continue their violations against journalists and media workers who carry out their professional duties in covering the events taking place,” the statement said.
The Qatari entity was referring to the largest Palestinian attack on Israel in recent history, launched by on Saturday by Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades.
During the operation, Palestinians managed to break out of the besieged enclave and infiltrate the occupied territories by land, air and sea while captivating more than 130 Israeli citizens and members of the IOF.
Since the Palestinian operation, at least 1,200 Israelis have been confirmed dead.
The surprise operation was launched in response to intensified Israeli attacks on Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the repeated settler storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque in an attempt to change the status-quo of the holy Muslim site.
The occupying state has since waged a deadly war on Gaza, killing at least 1,055 Palestinians, though the figure is expected to rise as Israel continues to bomb the enclave.
The IOF has mainly targeted residential buildings, schools, hospitals and journalists on the ground.
Israel has killed at least six journalists in Gaza since the start of the aggression, with the latest victim from the press identified as Palestinian journalist Salam Meimah, who was killed alongside her husband and three children.
“The Qatar Press Center stresses the necessity of putting an immediate end to the hostile crimes committed by Israel against journalists, and holding the criminals who deliberately obscure the truth by targeting the press,” the statement added.
The IOF have killed more than 50 Palestinian journalists since 2000, per figures shared by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate. Renowned Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is among those killed by the IOF.
Fears over human catastrophe
Over the past five days, Israel destroyed more than 22,600 residential units, 10 health facilities, and 48 schools. The occupying state also imposed a complete siege on the already blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday and vowed to turn the city into rubble.
In a statement on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply distressed” by the Israeli announcement over imposing a complete siege on the already blockaded Gaza Strip.
“The humanitarian situation in Gaza was extremely dire before these hostilities; now it will only deteriorate exponentially. Medical equipment, food, fuel and other humanitarian supplies are desperately needed, along with access for humanitarian personnel,” the UN chief said.
Guterres further urged “all sides and the relevant parties” to provide a safe passage for the UN to deliver the urgent humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, while appealing to the international community to “mobilise immediate humanitarian support for this effort.”
Gaza has faced an illegal Israeli air, land and sea blockade since 2007, which has been widely described as the world’s “largest open-air prison”.
The besieged enclave heavily relies on vital crossings that allow the passage of basic necessities. On Tuesday, Israel attacked and shut down the shared Egypt and Gaza crossing of Rafah, which has long served as a crucial lifeline for millions of Palestinians in the city.
The 16-year siege on Gaza has already deprived Palestinians from basic resources, including water and electricity.
Under Israel’s tight grip on basic resources, Gaza has faced what the UN previously described as “a chronic electricity deficit” that has been made worse by several rounds of Israeli aggression on the besieged city.
Gaza’s government media office issued a statement on Wednesday warning of “an imminent humanitarian catastrophe” with the city’s sole power plant expected to shut down completely in the coming hours due to a lack of fuel.
“This threatens to plunge the Strip into complete darkness and make it impossible to continue providing all basic life services, all of which depend on electricity, and it will not be possible to operate them partially with generators in light of the prevention of fuel supplies from Rafah Gate,” the statement said.
The government statement added that the current “catastrophic situation creates a humanitarian crisis for all residents of the Gaza Strip, which is further exacerbated by the occupation’s continued aggression and destruction of entire residential neighbourhoods.”
It also slammed the Israeli attacks as “the dirtiest crime of collective punishment against defenseless civilians in modern history.”
The extreme power shortage poses further challenges on medics in Gaza that have been working relentlessly over the last five days in order to treat thousands of injuries with an already limited supply of medicine and tools.
The Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza told Al Araby TV on Wednesday that “there is a danger threatening medical teams and they must be protected.”
At least six healthcare workers in Gaza have been killed this week and eight healthcare facilities have been damaged by the Israeli strikes.
Palestine’s envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour described Israel’s ongoing bombardment and siege of Gaza as “nothing less than genocidal.”
“Such blatant dehumanisation and attempts to bomb a people into submission, to use starvation as a method of warfare, and to eradicate their national existence are nothing less than genocidal,” Mansour said on Tuesday.