Journalists under threat, unprotected in covering Gaza genocide

A man in press garb receives treatment from a doctor

Gaza is the world’s most dangerous place for journalists. Here Mohammad Sawalha gets treatment at al-Aqda hospital in Deir al-Balah after sustaining an injury in a Israeli air strike.

Omar Ashtawy APA images

On 4 June, the Committee to Protect Journalists released its latest report on conditions in Gaza for media professionals.

In addition to the latest casualty figures – “at least” 108 journalists and media workers have been killed in Israel’s genocidal aggression to date – the report details the number of ways the media are being targeted.

These include direct threats from Israeli military officials, cyberattacks on websites, including Al Jazeera’s and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, to arrests, assaults and censorship, including not allowing international journalists access to Gaza and shutting down Al Jazeera in Israel.

Palestinian journalist Fatima Abu Nadi who lost her father during the current genocide, said journalists in Gaza “carry their lives in their hands.” Every step they take may be their last in light of an attack that is becoming more ferocious due to persistent attempts by the Israeli military to prevent coverage.

This is done in several ways, not just in direct assault. By cutting off communications. By preventing the arrival of equipment and means of protection, like helmets or vests, she told The Electronic Intifada.

“The continuous pressure and continuous targeting by the occupation, the killing of our families, the targeting of our homes and workplaces, and the cutting off of transmissions,” Nadi said.


But Nadi also struck a defiant tone.

“All of these obstacles push us to continue conveying the truth.”

Sami Abu Salem pointed out the dangers of mere movement. There is no freedom of movement for journalists from one place to another, and this restricts their work, he said.

“The occupation does not allow the entry of means of protection such as vests and helmets, and there are no places to live, whether homes, offices, or shelters,” Salem said.

“Since the war in Gaza started, journalists have been paying the highest price – their lives – for their reporting. Without protection, equipment, international presence, communications, or food and water, they are still doing their crucial jobs to tell the world the truth,” Carlos Martinez de la Serna, the program director for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said.

“Every time a journalist is killed, injured, arrested, or forced to go to exile, we lose fragments of the truth.”

Reporters Without Borders have similarly decried Israel’s censorship and assaults on the media.

“Gaza’s reporters must be protected, those who wish must be evacuated, and Gaza’s gates must be opened to international media,” Jonathan Dagher, head of the group’s Middle East desk said in a statement in April.

Fedaa al-Qedra is a journalist in Gaza.