Gaza journalists face grave risks amid ongoing conflict

Media experts weigh-in

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — As besieged Gaza enters its tenth day, the latest statistics from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) confirm the deaths of 15 journalists. This includes eleven Palestinians, three Israelis, and one Lebanese journalist. CPJ is also actively investigating more than 100 unconfirmed reports of other journalists who are missing, detained, threatened, or killed. Additionally, there have been reports of damage to media offices and journalists' homes.اضافة اعلان

Some activists have taken to social media to discuss the targeting of journalists, highlighting the differing treatment of Palestinians inside Gaza compared to Western journalists. Many journalists within Gaza have described their challenging working conditions. They emphasize that without stable internet connections and electricity, it is difficult to report news in real-time. Freelance journalist Rakan Abdelrahman pointed out that there is no safe place to work from. He told Al Jazeera that even journalists wearing clearly marked press vests and helmets have been targeted.

Israel has become accustomed to target journalists
Director of Al Jazeera's Amman office, Hassan Al-Shoubaki, told Jordan News that Israel has become accustomed to targeting journalists. Several human rights organizations have demanded international intervention to pressure the occupying state to stop targeting journalists, especially after a large number of them were killed in the first week of the aggression against Gaza.

Al-Shoubaki considered, "This is the Israeli policy approach towards journalists because they are eyewitnesses to what is happening in Gaza. Today, the occupation army is bombing journalists' headquarters, and no safe area in Gaza enables journalists to do their work."

Shoubaki believes that the killing of journalists is a blatant violation, calling for an Arab and international stand. He explained that it is clear that journalists are bothering the occupation armies by transmitting pictures and facts to the point that they have begun targeting ambulances, making it difficult to treat them.

He also pointed out that Israel does not distinguish between a journalist, a civilian, or members of the resistance. It holds everyone accountable and attacks them barbarically. Targeting journalists is a message from the occupying state to leave Gaza.

"As long as there is occupation, there must be resistance, and resistance is a legitimate right guaranteed by the charters," according to Shoubaki.

Israel targets Palestinian and foreign journalists alike
Meanwhile, Nidal Mansour, founder and director of the Center for Defending the Freedom of Journalists, told Jordan News that the Israeli record is full of war crimes, including targeting Palestinian and foreign journalists alike. This is not the first time, and the goal of this is that the occupation army does not want to reveal their crimes, especially since Israel is a country that does not abide by all humanitarian laws.

More than 40 media institutions were destroyed
Mansour highlighted that there is very little information about the deaths of Palestinian journalists, including ones who have been missing. He said, "There is no information about them. More than 40 media institutions were destroyed. This is the beginning of the aggression and crimes practiced by the occupation army against a defenseless people."

Mansour explained that when there is impunity and accountability, the state places itself above the law, and this is exactly what Israel does. Mansour called on journalists to be safe and careful, as nothing is more important than their lives and safety. He called on all international institutions working in the field of human rights and journalists to stop these crimes.

Furthermore, journalist and former MP Rula Al-Hroob said, "The Israeli occupation killed Sherine Abu Aqleh in cold blood. Israel has a history of targeting journalists, and we expect more of them to occur because in this attack, Israel takes revenge by all means, and most importantly, Netanyahu and Gallant described the Palestinians as human animals, and this is a crime of racial discrimination. This means that they are also committing ethnic genocide and religious genocide."

Primary goal to conceal the facts
Al-Hroub considered the killing of journalists to be a primary goal to conceal the facts, especially since Western media is biased towards Israel.

Journalist Baker Abd Alhaq told Jordan News that there is a significant restriction on the work of the media, as some media outlets have announced their inability to complete coverage due to the lack of fuel, and the occupation army continues to target media headquarters, such as the area surrounding Palestine TV, stressing that if the situation continues as it is, most of the channels may leave Gaza.

This will not be the last time
A legislative researcher and expert Yahya Shuqair told Jordan News that it will not be the last time that the occupation forces kill a journalist, and since their establishment they have been committing crimes that violate international humanitarian law, until their Minister of War stated that he immediately ordered cutting off water, electricity, and food from Gaza in a collective punishment of civilians.

Explaining that these crimes do not have a statute of limitations, he called for the necessity of clarifying these crimes to international public opinion and to those who believe that the occupying state is the victim.

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