Gaza: News organisation leaders sign open letter in solidarity with journalists in war zone

Gaza: News organisation leaders sign open letter in solidarity with journalists in war zone
The heads of world news organisations decried the perilous conditions journalists in Gaza are faced with, stressing a greater need for their protection.
2 min read
02 March, 2024
At least 122 journalists have been killed in Gaza since October 7 [Getty/file photo]

The heads of over 30 international news organisations issued an open letter earlier this week standing in solidarity with journalists reporting in war-hit Gaza and calling for "safety, protection, and the freedom to report".

The letter reminded the international community that journalists are civilians and authorities must do more to protect them, in compliance with international law.

The statement was signed by leading journalists from Reuters, the Associated Press, and AFP, as well as other outlets across Europe, Africa, Asia and the US, and was coordinated by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) with the World Association of News Publishers (WASN-IFRA).

The letter was also signed by Hossam Kanafani, the editor-in-chief of The New Arab's Arabic-language site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"For nearly five months, journalists and media workers in Gaza – overwhelmingly, the sole source of on-the-ground reporting from within the Palestinian territory – have been working in unprecedented conditions," the letter read.

"These journalists – on whom the international news media and the international community rely for information about the situation inside Gaza – continue to report despite grave personal risk."

According to UN figures, at least 122 journalists have been killed since the start of Israel's brutal military campaign in Gaza.

This is more journalists than have ever been killed in a single country or territory over an entire year, making the Gaza Strip among the world's deadliest locations for journalists in history, since the military onslaught began on October 7.

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The war has claimed the highest number of journalists' lives in any war zone in over 30 years, rights groups have stressed.

At least 30,320 Palestinians have been killed since, mostly women and children, as Israel's military campaign rages on for almost five months.

The letter went on to highlight that Palestinian journalists in Gaza continue to report despite the loss of family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the the destruction of homes and offices. Constant displacement, telecommunications blackouts, and shortages of food and fuel have also endangered journalists' lives in the war-hit enclave.

Among the most prominent Palestinian journalists to continue on-the-ground work amid loss and devastation is Al Jazeera Gaza bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh. The reporter's wife, grandson and two sons - including journalist Hamza - were killed by Israeli strikes.

Dahdouh was also wounded by an Israeli attack in December, but continued to report despite being bandaged up.

The war in Gaza has also forced some of the territory's leading journalists, such as Motaz Azaiza, to evacuate the territory in a bid to protect his family and safety.