AEJ-Bulgaria Condemns Attacks on Journalists Amid Gaza Conflict

World | April 10, 2024, Wednesday // 14:02|  views

Six months have passed since the October 7 Hamas terror attacks in Israel, resulting in 1,200 deaths and hundreds of hostages. The Israeli military's response has led to a significant number of Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza and the West Bank. According to UN reports, over 33,000 Palestinians have been killed or injured in the conflict. Additionally, nearly 100 journalists and media workers have lost their lives, including Palestinians, Israelis, and Lebanese. This alarming death toll among journalists is unprecedented, with one journalist being killed every two days, according to the International Press Institute.

While some casualties may be indirect victims of the conflict, there are suspicions that the Israeli military deliberately targeted journalists. Organizations like Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch are currently investigating these cases, as such actions would constitute war crimes under international law. Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced restrictions on Al Jazeera's activities within Israel, citing national security concerns. However, such measures have been criticized by international press freedom advocates, including the International Press Institute.

The limited access of foreign journalists to Gaza presents another challenge. While the risks of reporting from conflict zones are significant, obtaining accreditation from the Israeli Defense Forces to enter Gaza is nearly impossible. This severely restricts reporters' ability to provide objective coverage of events, compounded by the blackout of electricity and internet in Gaza. Local journalists face additional hurdles, including arbitrary detention and intimidation, further hindering the dissemination of accurate information about the conflict.

Moreover, independent media and journalists in Israel face political and psychological pressure to align with the government's narrative. Threats to shut down newspapers and foreign news agency bureaus underscore the challenges faced by journalists covering the conflict. As part of the global journalistic community, AEJ-Bulgaria calls for an end to attacks on journalists and urges the protection of media representatives covering the Gaza conflict. It emphasizes that attacks on civilians, including journalists, violate international law and calls on the international community to defend press freedom and safeguard the lives of journalists and civilians.

/AEJ Bulgaria

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Tags: conflict, journalists, Gaza, press freedom


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