(New York, NY) — In response to an Israeli military strike on a building in Gaza housing the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, PEN America released the following statement:

“Part of the reason we know of the horrific human toll happening in Israel and Gaza this week is because of the tireless, indefatigable work of journalists, risking their lives to inform the world. That’s why the Israeli military’s strike on a building in Gaza housing the offices of AP and Al Jazeera is so deeply disturbing. We are alarmed by allegations that media organizations were deliberately used as human shields, a grave affront to press freedom. Though lives were fortunately spared, the resulting destruction will hobble the ability of professional journalists to do their work documenting a fraught, complex conflict at a critical time. Placing journalists in the crossfire only deepens mistrust and misunderstanding, compounding crises. Alongside press organizations globally, we demand a detailed understanding of how these media organizations came into harm’s way, resulting in this grave blow to the free flow of information.”

PEN America will continue monitoring the situation and update this statement as warranted.