Rights Group Warns War in Gaza ‘Most Dangerous Situation for Journalists Ever Seen’

by | Dec 21, 2023

Rights Group Warns War in Gaza ‘Most Dangerous Situation for Journalists Ever Seen’

by | Dec 21, 2023

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The funeral of two Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli forces in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that the ten weeks of war in Gaza has killed more journalists than any other conflict. Over 60 journalists have been killed, many while reporting on the brutal Israeli onslaught in Gaza. Investigations into some of the attacks have determined the assault was intentional. 

Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said, “The Israel-Gaza war is the most dangerous situation for journalists we have ever seen, and these figures show that clearly.” He continued, “The Israeli army has killed more journalists in ten weeks than any other army or entity has in any single year. And with every journalist killed, the war becomes harder to document and to understand.”

A joint investigation by Reuters, Human Rights Watch, AFP, and Amnesty International concluded that an Israeli tank shelled a group of easily identified journalists, killing Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah. AFP said in its report that “the strikes were deliberate and targeted,” coming close together in time and space and hitting journalists who “were clearly identified as press, away from any military activity.”

Dylan Collins, an AFP videographer who was with Abdallah when he was killed, said, “We felt safe, we felt secure, so we got to work, seven journalists, all of us wearing flak jackets and helmets, everyone clearly marked as a member of the press. The Israelis knew we were there from the moment we arrived.”

CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg said, “The concentration of journalists killed in the Israel-Gaza war is unparalleled in CPJ’s history and underscores how grave the situation is for press on the ground.”

“Local Palestinian journalists continue to report from Gaza while living in fear for their lives. The sheer number of journalist casualties, only months into the war, brings into sharp focus the dire need for warring parties to commit to protecting all civilians, including journalists,” Ginsberg explained. 

The CPJ report is backed by a recent statement from Reporters Without Borders. Alfonso Bauluz, president of RSF Spain, said, “This 2023 has been a catastrophic year due to the massacre of journalists in Gaza, which we will not be able to forget.” RSF added that the deaths show the “unprecedented scale of the tragedy for journalism in Gaza.”

CPJ urged Israel and the international community to “facilitate immediate access to humanitarian aid and basic supplies to Gaza and the safe delivery of personal protective equipment – such as helmets and flak jackets – to journalists in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.” The report continues, as well as “ensuring media credentials and press insignia are respected, and that all parties follow international humanitarian law and do not target or harm journalists.”

The group reports that at least 67 journalists have been killed since October 7. 

CPJ called on Israel to “Grant international news organizations access to Gaza and halt the practice of communications blackouts and repeal new regulations that allow for the shutdown of news organizations and end the “administrative detention” of journalists, which allows for imprisonment without charge.”

 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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