Gaza Metropolis – Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Al-Jalaa constructing, the place the Al Jazeera workplace and the Related Press workplace are positioned, on Might 15 of final 12 months.
Mud and particles rose into the air because the 11-story constructing, which additionally homes a number of different residences and workplaces, leveling, flattening.
The bombing sparked widespread anger. Al Jazeera condemned the assault on the time, calling on “all media and human rights organizations to hitch forces” to denounce the bombing and “maintain the Israeli authorities accountable”.
Between Might 10 and 21 of final 12 months, Israeli forces carried out an all-out army strike in opposition to the Gaza Strip resulted within the deaths of 261 Palestinians, together with 67 youngsters and 41 girls.
After the bombing, the Al Jazeera crew in Gaza – who misplaced most of their tools – moved to a lot of momentary headquarters over the previous 12 months throughout what they described as fraught with unrest.
At Al Jazeera’s present workplace, friends have lately come to supply condolences on the passing of veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aklehwho was shot lifeless by Israeli troops within the Jenin refugee camp final week.
Wael Al Dahdouh, 53, director of Al Jazeera’s Gaza workplace, stated it nonetheless hurts when he recollects the day the staff misplaced its workplace throughout the Israeli assault.
‘Get out instantly’
He recounted that afternoon: The staff was masking up a bomb assault close by when the proprietor of the constructing known as to tell that an Israeli official had ordered an instantaneous evacuation as a result of it was about to be hit. bomb.
“It was an enormous shock, we predict the bomb assault on the tower we’re positioned in could be very unlikely. It hosts solely media workplaces, firms, and the remaining are residential residences.”
“In these moments, I couldn’t assume. I instructed everybody to evacuate. We took what we might from the workplace and bought out instantly,” he stated.
Wael and the residents had been capable of depart the constructing simply minutes earlier than the tower was bombed and fell to the bottom.
“The scene the place my workplace was bombed whereas I used to be on the information was one of many hardest moments of my life. I’m doing my job though I’m saddened by the recollections of the workplace we spent 12 years.
“This celebration is linked to our efforts, our work, our tools, and the archive that captures many recollections and spectacles,” he added.
After the bombing, Wael stated the staff had moved to a lodge in western Gaza and was organized by AFP information company to cowl stay Israel’s ongoing assault on the territory.
“We targeted our energies and continued to cowl regardless of the hazard and hardship, regardless of all of the unhappiness, anger and remorse over the lack of our workplace,” Wael stated.
Wael interrupted when he obtained friends who had come to supply condolences over the assassination of Abu Akleh.
“Our workplace tower celebration coincides with the lack of one other press tower in Palestine, our colleague Shireen Abu Akleh,” he stated.
“We had been planning to mark the anniversary of the bombing with us waking up and shifting into our new workplace and celebrating. However shedding Shireen makes this pleasure incomplete.”
‘Sheikh of photographers’
Mahmoud Obaid, 65, a senior videographer nicknamed the “big of photographers” within the Gaza Strip, began working for Al Jazeera upon its founding in 1996.
Since then, Mahmoud stated, he has adopted many watershed moments with the Al Jazeera group, together with Israeli invasions, escalations and wars on Palestinian territory.
“Throughout these years, Al Jazeera’s workplace moved from place to put, till we settled in al-Jalaa Tower in 2009,” he stated.
“The al-Jalaa tower workplace is like our second house. We used to spend extra time on the workplace than at house with our household, and our connection to this place could be very robust.”
Concerning the time they had been knowledgeable of the bombing, Mahmoud stated: “We had been very frightened, our ideas had been on crucial issues that we might get out of the workplace earlier than the bombing.
“The tools we took out didn’t exceed 5% of the full quantity of apparatus we misplaced, together with cameras and transmitters,” Mahmoud stated.
“I want we had no less than two hours to evacuate our headquarters and get our tools, however from the time of informing us and the bombing, it was solely 45 minutes, not sufficient for something. .”
Mahmoud stated the towers bombed within the Might assault had been evacuated for a full day or extra, except for the al-Jalaa Tower, which was bombed lower than an hour from the time of announcement.
“We felt loads of uncertainty final 12 months – new areas, new roads and unfinished tools, however we bought by way of it and are actually. Nothing will cease us. The Israeli occupation has all the time focused us as journalists throughout all media, but it surely won’t have an effect on our dedication to report the reality.”
‘I used to be terrified’
Youmna El Sayed, 34, who began working as a reporter for Al Jazeera English final 12 months throughout the conflict within the Gaza Strip, described the second the tower was bombed as an enormous shock to everybody.
“At these occasions, I had simply returned from reporting on conflict wounded in Al-Shifa . Medical HospitalYoumna stated.
“I used to be terrified, I feel this is likely one of the most secure locations within the Gaza Strip. The workplace of an American media outlet and the Al Jazeera workplace are there, and the remaining are residents,” she stated.
Youmna, a mom of 4, says her ideas are with the households who stay within the 60-unit constructing.
“I prefer to take the steps from the twelfth flooring and never use the elevator to see if I might help any household alongside the best way. There was a mom on the eighth flooring who was very frightened and crying with 3 youngsters beneath 5 years outdated and a child in her arms, and she or he simply couldn’t deal with it,” she stated.
“Regardless of my very own fears, I reassured her and took the 2 youngsters out of her arms and instructed her to rapidly convey no matter she wished from her residence and to not fear about issues. the child that I beat with me.”
After Youmna exited the constructing, the mom additionally went downstairs with the opposite households within the tower, shortly after, the constructing was bombed.
“I used to be within the air on the time masking the bombing, it was a really tough second, the tower collapsed like a cookie,” she stated.
A 12 months later, Youmna stated she might not have spent a lot time on the former Al Jazeera headquarters in Gaza, however she clearly felt the influence of the bombing on her colleagues, who had misplaced their tools. their tools, possessions, and recollections.
Regardless of the Israeli assault, she insisted “nothing will cease them from getting their message throughout”.
“Though I’ve a non-Palestinian nationality so I might depart Gaza on the time of the conflict, I favor to remain and canopy up what’s going on,” she stated.
“The Al Jazeera workplace bombing didn’t frighten me in any respect, and some days in the past our colleague Shireen Abu Akleh went lacking. These incidents make me extra persistent to complete the message – it doesn’t matter what occurs.
“Nothing will cease us from the message, besides loss of life.”