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Israel-Hamas war brings killings of Palestinian journalists

More than three quarters of the 99 journalists and media workers who died worldwide in 2023 were killed in the Israel-Gaza war. This is the highest number of deaths recorded since 2015, the Committee to Protect Journalists says in a report. The vast majority (72) were Palestinian journalists killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza. 

In contrast, outside of that conflict, a total of 22 journalists and media workers were killed in 18 nations.

CPJ has earlier reported that more journalists were killed in the first three months of the Israel-Gaza war than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year.

 “The immense loss suffered by Palestinian journalists in this war will have long-term impacts for journalism not just in the Palestinian territories but for the region and beyond”, says CPJ Chief Executive Officer Jodie Ginsberg.”

CPJ says it has raised concerns about the apparent targeting of members of the media by the Israel Defense Forces and is investigating whether a dozen journalists killed in the Israel-Gaza war were deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers. 

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“As shown by CPJ’s May 2023 “Deadly Pattern” report, the Israeli military has a long record of killing journalists with impunity, with at least 20 journalists killed over 22 years and no one held accountable for their deaths.”

CPJ has demanded swift, transparent, and independent investigations into all journalist killings by the IDF and has repeatedly cautioned warring parties that journalists are civilians under international law and deliberately targeting them is a war crime. 

Similarly, CPJ has said that Israel must comply with the International Court of Justice’s recent order to ensure the preservation of evidence, a critical function of journalists, as they are frontline witnesses whose work has previously been considered as evidence in tribunals.

Excluding the deaths in Israel, Gaza and Lebanon, killings dropped markedly in 2023. 

“Nonetheless, CPJ’s 2023 data shows that targeting of journalists remains constant in nations including the Philippines, Mexico and Somalia, countries that have proven deadly for journalists over decades. Even where the overall number of journalist killings have declined, non-lethal attacks persist and journalists continue to be jailed in record numbers, a key indicator of press freedom conditions”, the CPJ report says.

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