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50 press unions demand end to Israel’s systematic targeting of journalists in Palestine

November 2, 2023 at 5:02 pm

Protestors gather to hold a pro-Palestinian demonstration outside of the State Department and condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza, in Washington D.C., United States on November 1, 2023 [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

Fifty Arab and foreign media institutions, associations and trade unions have demanded the UN Secretary-General and the President of the International Federation of Journalists to take a quick and strong stance to protect journalists in Palestine, condemn the killing of media professionals as well as harassing them by Israel, and to implement the provisions of the Geneva Conventions related to the protection of journalists in times of war.

This came in a joint letter, which the signatories said has been issued “based on the public’s right to the media … and the right of media professionals to practise their work freely … and in view of the systematic targeting that media professionals in Palestine are experiencing, which has reached the point of direct killing and the targeted, and harassment that makes their continued work pose a danger to them.

The signatories called on the international community to “immediately investigate the killings and ensure that criminals do not escape punishment”.

They also called on

all countries of the world to guarantee the freedom of media professionals and to take the necessary field measures to protect them and to guarantee freedom of media practice

The President of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and one of the signatories to the petition, Sadiq Ibrahim, has “strongly denounced the continued aggressive escalation against journalists in Palestine” and the murders and attacks targeting them mercilessly, saying this violent escalation constitutes a serious threat to freedom of the press and the public’s right to access information.

The Secretary-General of the Palestine International Forum for Media and Communication and one of the signatories to the document, Ahmed Al-Sheikh, said,

We stand with the brave Palestinian journalists who risk their lives in order to present the truth, and we express our full solidarity with them. We call on all concerned parties to stop the violence against journalists and work to end this type of crime

According to independent human rights institutions, as many as 25 Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israel since the start of the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on 7 October, in addition to 13 workers in the media sector.

Moreover, the homes of more than 35 journalists were destroyed, and more than 20 journalists were injured, in addition to the arrests of 18 male and female journalists in the West Bank.

Since 7 October, the Israeli army has been waging a ruthless war on Gaza, killing more than 8,525 Palestinians, including 3,542 children and 2,187 women, wounding about 21,543. In the Occupied West Bank, Israel has killed 126 Palestinians, and arrested about 2,000 others, according to official Palestinian sources.

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