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‘What crime is Israel hiding?’ asks Foreign Press Association

April 9, 2024 at 2:35 pm

A view of the destruction in the after Israeli attacks on the Ash-Shujaiyye neighbourhood, in Gaza City, Gaza on 7 April 2024 [Dawoud Abo Alkas – Anadolu Agency]

The Foreign Press Association (FPA) has called for Israel to allow international journalists “expanded and unfettered access to Gaza,” noting that “six months is far too long” for journalists to be banned from the enclave. No foreign journalists have been allowed into Gaza since Israel launched its deadly military offensive in October, since when more than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of them women and children.

The FPA is the world’s oldest and biggest association of international journalists. It said that Israel’s blocking of journalists for this long is “unprecedented” and “raises questions about what Israel does not want international journalists to see.” It noted that the Israeli authorities have repeatedly rejected FPA appeals for access, both in private meetings and in a supreme court ruling, citing security-related and logistical arguments.

“The blanket ban has limited the world’s ability to witness the true cost of the war to all sides,” said the non-profit organisation.

Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that as of yesterday, at least 95 journalists and media workers — 90 Palestinians, two Israelis and three Lebanese — are among the more than 33,000 individuals killed since 7 October. Palestinian sources put the figure at 138.

“The truth is, the outside world sees only 10 per cent of the actual reality in Gaza, and what we see is unimaginable,” local journalist Diaa Al-Kahlout told CPJ’s Doja Daoud.

Al-Kahlout spent 33 days in Israeli detention, where he says he was brutally interrogated about his work. “In addition to the bruises still on my body, I can’t sleep or rest normally since my release,” he explained. “I used to be able to get all the news, and today, many significant stories haven’t been covered.”

Other journalists are struggling to continue reporting in the face of food, fuel and equipment shortages, supply restrictions and power outages.

READ: Israel has arrested 66 journalists in occupied West Bank since 7 October