Israel is eradicating journalism in Gaza, with ten reporters killed in three days, 48 since start of war
Journalism is in the process of being eradicated in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s refusal to heed calls to protect media personnel, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The situation is dire for Palestinian journalists trapped in the enclave, where ten have been killed in the past three days, bringing the total media death toll in Gaza since the start of the war to 48.
The past weekend was the deadliest for the media since the war between Israel and Hamas began on 7 October. Ten Palestinian journalists were killed in the three days from 18 to 20 November, of whom at least three were killed in the course of their work. They brought the total killed by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip to 48, of whom 11 were killed in connection with their work, according to the information so far gathered by RSF.
“The Israeli forces have killed nearly 50 journalists in 45 days in the Gaza Strip, including 11 in the course of their work. This is one of the deadliest tolls in a century. International journalists are banned from entering Gaza. Reporters there have no safe refuge and no way of leaving. They are being killed one after another. Since 7 October, the Palestinian territory has been subjected to a veritable eradication of journalism. We urge the international community to intervene to protect the journalists there, to open the Rafah border crossing, and to enable international reporters to go in.”
Of the ten journalists killed from 18 to 20 November, at least three were killed in the course of their work or because of it. Hassouna Sleem, the director of the Palestinian online news agency Quds News, and freelance photo-journalist Sary Mansour were killed during an Israeli assault on the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on 18 November. According to RSF’s information, they had received an online death threat in connection with their work 24 hours prior to their deaths.
The well-known journalist Bilal Jadallah was killed by an Israeli strike that hit his car directly as he was trying to evacuate from Gaza City via the district of Zeitoun on the morning of 19 November. A prominent figure within the Palestinian media community, he held several positions including chair of the board of Press House-Palestine, an organisation that supports independent media and journalists in Gaza.
From north to south, a cemetery for journalists
The tragedy of the past few days brings to 48 the number of journalists killed since 7 October in Gaza, including 11 so far in the course of their work, according to RSF. While most of these crimes were committed in the north of Gaza, where Israeli forces have concentrated their attacks, at least five journalists were killed in the south, above all in the cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, where much of the territory’s population has sought refuge. Most of the journalists were killed with family members when Israeli strikes hit their homes.