UN decries 'deliberate' killing of journalists by Israel in Gaza

UN decries 'deliberate' killing of journalists by Israel in Gaza
UN rights experts have concluded that Israel is deliberately targeting journalists to silence critical reporting.
2 min read
01 February, 2024
Palestinian journalists have been killed in Gaza in a rate higher than any other conflict in the 21st century [Getty]

UN rights experts voiced alarm Thursday at soaring numbers of journalists killed in the Gaza war, decrying an apparent "deliberate" Israeli strategy to silence critical reporting.

"Rarely have journalists paid such a heavy price for just doing their job as those in Gaza now," the five experts said in a statement.

United Nations reports indicate that at least 122 journalists and other media workers have been killed and many others injured in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its war on October 7.

"We are alarmed at the extraordinarily high numbers of journalists and media workers who have been killed, attacked, injured and detained in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in Gaza, in recent months," the experts said.

The independent experts, who are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council but do not speak on behalf of the United Nations, said they had received "disturbing reports that, despite being clearly identifiable in jackets and helmets marked 'press' or travelling in well-marked press vehicles, journalists have come under attack".

This, they warned, "would seem to indicate that the killings, injury, and detention are a deliberate strategy by Israeli forces to obstruct the media and silence critical reporting".

"Targeted attacks and killings of journalists are war crimes."

The experts, including the special rapporteurs on freedom of expression, on rights in the Palestinian territories and on extrajudicial executions, also voiced grave concerns that Israel has refused to let media from outside Gaza to enter and report unless they are embedded with Israeli forces.


"The attacks on media in Gaza and restrictions on other journalists from accessing Gaza, combined with severe disruptions of the internet, are major impediments to the right of information of the people of Gaza as well as the outside world," they said.

They also urged international courts to pay particular attention to this "dangerous pattern of attacks and impunity for crimes against journalists".

Israel has responded with a relentless air, land and sea offensive that has killed more than 27,000 people in Gaza, most of them women and children.

AFP journalists recently held a global show of support for the agency's journalists in Gaza who have not been allowed to leave since the war started.