Palestine conflict deadliest for journalists

Photo of author

By Creative Media News

  • World Press Freedom Day commemorates journalists’ courage
  • Gaza conflict deadliest period for media professionals
  • International condemnation follows attacks on journalists in Gaza

May 3 is observed annually as World Press Freedom Day by UNESCO. 

Today marks the occurrence of a highly precarious period for journalists around the world, as the Israeli invasion of Gaza has become the deadliest conflict in the history of media professionals. 

“Losing a journalist is equivalent to losing ears and eyes to the outside world.” Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement today, “We lose a voice for the voiceless.” 

“World Press Freedom Day” was created to honor the significance of the truth and to safeguard those who valiantly strive to expose it. 

The most perilous time for journalists in Gaza.

In the first seven months of the conflict in Gaza, over a hundred journalists and media workers have been killed, the overwhelming majority of whom are Palestinian, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). 

The Gaza Chamber of Media reports that over 140 journalists have been slain, or an average of five per week, since October 7. 

At least 34,596 Palestinians have been slain and 77,816 others have been injured in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict. More than 8,000 individuals remain unaccounted for, entombed beneath the debris. 

“Gaza’s gates must be opened to international media,” “Reporters must be protected in Gaza; those who wish to leave must be evacuated.” A statement was issued in April by Jonathan Dagher, the head of the Middle East division at RSF. 

“Those few journalists who have managed to escape are confronted with the same horrifying reality: journalists are being assaulted, injured, and murdered… Protecting Palestinian journalism is an urgent necessity.” 

Journalists for Al Jazeera were slain and injured in Gaza.

Hamza Dahdouh, the eldest son of Wael Dahdouh, the chief of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau, was fatally struck by an Israeli missile in Khan Younis on January 7. Following in the footsteps of his father, journalist Mustafa Thuraya was slain in the attack. Hamza and Thuraya were traveling in a vehicle near al-Mawasi, an area designated by Israel as ostensibly secure. 

Hamza and Mustafa’s vehicle was reportedly targeted by Al Jazeera correspondents while they attempted to conduct interviews with civilians displaced by previous explosions. 

The Al Jazeera Media Network issued a vehement condemnation of the attack, further stating, “The assassination of Mustafa and Hamza… while they were en route to perform their duties in the Gaza Strip… reaffirms the imperative for prompt legal action against the occupation forces to ensure impunity.” 

An Israeli drone attack targeted Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abudaqa and injured Wael Dahdouh on December 15, 2023, as they reported from the Farhana school in Khan Younis, southern Gaza. 

Abudaqa perished after more than four hours of hemorrhaging at the hands of emergency personnel, who were prevented from approaching him by the Israeli army. 

Abudaqa became the thirteenth Al Jazeera journalist to be fatally shot in the line of duty since the organization’s inception in 1996. 

Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, widely recognized in the Arab world, was assassinated while reporting in the occupied West Bank in 2022 by Israeli forces. 

Al Jazeera has demanded that Israel be held accountable by the international community for its assaults on journalists. 

In 2024, how many journalists have been murdered on a global scale?

The CPJ reports that twenty-five journalists and media workers have been murdered thus far in 2024

Twenty or more of those slain occurred in Palestine. In contrast, two fatalities occurred in Colombia, one in each of Pakistan, Sudan, and Myanmar. 

The Israel-Gaza conflict claimed the lives of over 75% of the 99 journalists and media workers who were killed globally in 2023; the majority of these casualties were Palestinians who were targeted by Israeli assaults on Gaza. 

Since the commencement of the Israel-Gaza conflict, journalists have dedicated their careers as a means to safeguard the public’s right to know the truth. “With each journalist’s demise or injury, a portion of that truth is lost,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, director of the CPJ program. 

In what regions is press freedom most curtailed?

The annual index is published by the media monitor Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to gauge the state of press freedom worldwide. It assesses the security and legal framework, in addition to the political, economic, and sociocultural environment, of the press in 180 countries and territories. 

Eritrea has the least press freedom, as ranked by the 2024 World Press Freedom Index, which places it behind Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Iran. 

All autonomous media have been prohibited in Eritrea since the transition to dictatorship in September 2001, according to RSF. The Ministry of Information exercises direct control over the media, including Eri TV, a news agency, and a handful of publications. 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content