103 journalists killed in 150 days in Gaza: a tragedy for Palestinian journalism

At least 103 journalists have been killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza in the past five months, according to the tally of one of the deadliest ever wars for the media compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). At least 22 of these journalists were killed in the course of their work, RSF has so far established.

The figure of 103 journalists killed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in five months of war in Gaza is a chilling one. Since 7 October, the day the war began, the names of the victims have been steadily added to this continuing tragedy’s appalling toll.

Journalists working for TV, radio, print media and multimedia, photographers and camera operators, 91 men and 12 women journalists of all ages, all Palestinians, are among this war’s victims. They were killed in different places in Gaza, from the north to the south and including Khan Yunis, showing how no part of the Gaza Strip offers a refuge for journalists.

 At least 22 of these journalists were killed in the course of their work or because of their work, according to the information so far collected by RSF. Many of them were reporting in the field and were clearly identifiable as journalists. Others were killed by strikes that specifically targeted their homes. RSF has twice referred the crimes committed against journalists by Israel to the International Criminal Court.

“These 103 journalists are not numbers, they are 103 voices that Israel has silenced, 103 fewer witnesses of the catastrophe unfolding in Palestine, 103 lives extinguished. If the numbers show anything, it is that since 7 October, no place in Gaza is safe, no journalist in Gaza is spared, and the massacre has not stopped. We reiterate our urgent appeal to protect journalists in Gaza.

Christophe Deloire
Christophe Deloire RSF secretary-general

The first three months of the war were the deadliest for the media. Nearly 80% of the 103 media fatalities occurred between 7 October and 31 December. An average of nearly one journalist a day was killed during this period. A total of 26 journalists were killed in 24 days in October, 28 journalists in November and 26 journalists in December. Gaza’s reporters have lived with an “omnipresent danger of death” since 7 October, said RSF correspondent Ola al-Zaanoun, who was recently evacuated from Gaza.

 In January, 11 journalists were killed, including Al Jazeera journalists Hamza Dahdouh and Moustapha Thurayya. They were killed when the vehicles in which they were travelling were hit by an Israeli strike. In February, 11 journalists were also killed, an average of one every four days. 

 No safe zone for journalists

During these five months, journalists have been killed everywhere: in their offices, in the field, in their homes, in refugee camps, outside hospitals and in their cars. Nowhere is safe for media workers in the besieged enclave. While the Israeli incursions initially focused on Gaza City in the north during the first two months, they also killed at least five journalists in Rafah during that period.

At the start of December, the focus of the hostilities shifted to Khan Yunis in the centre of the enclave, and finally Rafah, adjoining the closed Egyptian border, has been living under the threat of an imminent land invasion since the start of 2024. The journalists who sought refuge in the south are holding their breath as they have nowhere else to go.

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