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Journalists face growing losses in Israel-Hamas war

A growing number of journalists on the ground covering violence between Israel and Hamas are dead, missing or detained, as the death toll skyrockets from the war.

Since Hamas, the Gaza-based militant group, launched a massive attack on Israel on Saturday, the Israeli government has launched continuous airstrikes on the blockaded Palestinian enclave. The violence left at least 2,700 dead – more than 1,400 in Gaza and 1,300 in Israel – thousands injured, dozens of hostages taken and hundreds of thousands displaced.

With misinformation about the violence rampant online, as well as Israel’s power outage in Gaza, it has become increasingly important for journalists on the ground to help inform the public about the facts of the situation. .

“I speak to you today as Israeli bombs rain on my city,” Maha Hussaini, Middle East Eye correspondent. said in a video posted from Gaza on Thursday. “This may be my last video, as my phone battery is dying as we face a near-total blackout after the closure of Gaza’s only power plant.”

According to Hussaini, Israel has targeted dozens of journalists and media outlets in Gaza. The Israeli army also bombed the enclave’s two main telecommunications companies, leading to an interruption of internet services.

“As journalists, we also face immense challenges. Reporting from the field and communicating with our fellow journalists, while staying connected to the Internet,” the journalist said. “Everything and everyone can be targeted in Gaza. Every day of reporting could be our last day of reporting. We have already lost at least nine journalist colleagues who were covering events on the ground or who were at home at the time of the attack.”

Middle East Eye said the outlet had struggled to maintain communication with Hussaini due to the power outages, although the journalist was able to publish her story on Thursday about the outage.

According to several groups, Thursday afternoon’s fighting left at least 10 journalists killed, two injured, one missing and one detained. Among the journalists killed were nine Palestinians and one Israeli.

Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said Thursday that “journalists are civilians doing important work in times of crisis and should not be targeted by warring parties.” “.

“Millions of people around the world rely on journalists in the region to provide accurate information about the conflict,” she continued. “Journalists, like all civilians, must be respected and protected. »

“Every day of reporting could be our last day of reporting.”

– Maha Husseini, Gaza correspondent for Middle East Eye

Before the latest violence, the Israeli military had been criticized for the killing last year of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, also a US citizen. To date, no one has been held accountable for the death of the revered Al Jazeera journalist in the occupied West Bank.

On Saturday, the day Hamas launched its attack on Israel, four journalists were killed.

Mohammad Al-Salhi, a photojournalist with the Fourth Authority news agency, was shot dead near the Al-Bureij Palestinian refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Mohammad Jarghoun, a journalist for Smart Media, was shot dead while covering the violence east of the town of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Ibrahim Mohammad Lafi, a photographer for Ain Media, was shot dead while crossing from Erez, Gaza, into Israel.

Yaniv Zohar, photographer for the daily Israel Hayom, was killed in an attack on Kibbutz Nahal Oz in southern Israel. His wife and two daughters also died in the attack, according to Israel Hayom.

On Sunday, independent journalist Assaad Shamlakh was killed along with nine members of his family in an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Sheikh Ijlin neighborhood in southern Gaza.

On Monday, three journalists were killed when Israeli military planes bombed a building in the Rimal district of western Gaza that housed several media outlets. These journalists were Al-Khamsa News editor Saeed al-Taweel, Khabar photographer Mohammed Sobh and Khabar journalist Hisham Alnwajha.

On Wednesday, independent photojournalist Mohammed Fisent Abu Matar was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the town of Rafah.

On Thursday, Sowt Al-Asra radio journalist Ahmed Shehab was killed along with his wife and three children in an Israeli airstrike that hit his home in Jabella, northern Gaza.

“Over the past ten years, 17 other Palestinian media workers have suffered the same fate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, bringing the total number killed to 27. This makes Palestine one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists,” said Anne Bocandé, editorial director of Reporters Without Borders, on Tuesday.

“In the current context, where hundreds of civilians have already been killed in Hamas massacres and Israeli bombings, we denounce these crimes and call on all parties to guarantee the protection of journalists in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2222. the UN. »

Ibrahim Qanan, correspondent for the Al-Ghad channel, was injured by shrapnel in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza. Sky News Arabia correspondent Firas Lutfi was attacked by police alongside other journalists in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Lufti said police pointed guns at their heads and forced him to remove his clothes and give up his phone.

Nidal Al-Wahidi, a photographer for the Al-Najah channel, was reported missing before her family said she had been arrested by the Israeli army.

Haitham Abdelwahid, photographer for Ain Media, was reported missing.

Roee Idan, photojournalist for the digital site Ynet, is injured and presumed to be one of the Hamas hostages. After documenting the attack on his kibbutz, he discovered that his wife had been killed in their home. Her 3-year-old daughter is also missing.




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