Why Is Israel's Army Killing Off Journalists In Gaza?


Israel's Genocide Of Palestinian People In Gaza

Israel's Genocide Of Palestinian People In Gaza

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Israel's Genocide Of Palestinian People In Gaza 29th December 2023

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Plestia Alaqad Journalist Films Moment Airstrikes Hit Near Her House In Gaza 12th December 2023

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Is Israel Deliberately Trying To Make Gaza Uninhabitable

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Is Israel deliberately targeting journalists in Gaza? | Israel-Palestine conflict | Al Jazeera

Inside Story

Is Israel deliberately targeting journalists in Gaza?

The war on Gaza has been the deadliest for media workers ever recorded


Why is the Israel-Hamas conflict so deadly for journalists?

Why is the Israel-Hamas conflict so deadly for journalists? – podcast | Media | The Guardian

More reporters are said to have been killed in this conflict than any in decades. Jonathan Dagher, from Reporters Without Borders, discusses what it means for public understanding of the region

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Since the beginning of the conflict in Gaza an unprecedented number of journalists have been killed. According to press freedom campaigners, the last month has been the most deadly for almost three decades. Israeli and Lebanese reporters have been killed but the majority of those who have died have been inside the Gaza Strip.

Jonathan Dagher, from Reporters Without Borders, says many journalists have been killed in their homes like other civilians. With a rising death toll caused by the Israeli bombardment, journalists, like others who live in the Gaza Strip, have been trapped and unable to leave. Yet alongside these tragic deaths are those who have been killed while working. Is enough being done to protect the freedom of the press to report?

Hazem Balousha, a Gaza-based journalist who has been speaking to Today in Focus throughout the conflict, tells Nosheen Iqbal about the difficulties of reporting when your family is in danger, and about the journalists who have been killed, while Dagher explains what the loss of more than 60 journalists means during a conflict when disinformation is spreading.

The International Federation of Journalists says around three-quarters of all deaths in 2023 have been in Gaza. They have mainly been Palestinians covering the story as international news outlets have been prevented from entering the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military.1 day ago

Is Israel deliberately targeting journalists in Gaza? - Al Jazeera

A man wearing a press jacket surrounded by other grieving men

Is Israel deliberately trying to make Gaza uninhabitable?

With 40% of homes destroyed in the strip, legal experts are raising the question of ‘domicide’ – but what it is it, and is it taking place in Gaza?

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Since the resumption of Israel’s bombardment, life for civilians in Gaza has become desperate, says the Guardian’s world affairs editor, Julian Borger. More than 1.9 million people there have fled their homes, and many have had to then flee again as the bombardment shifts from the north to the south of the territory.

Tented camps are springing up – improvised shelters with no sanitation or heat – and with winter approaching, medical and humanitarian groups warn that starvation and disease may follow. Now, a UN special rapporteur suggests that what is happening could be “domicide” – the deliberate targeting of homes and buildings to make an area uninhabitable.

Hannah Moore hears why legal experts are calling for this to be a crime against humanity, whether it could explain the widespread destruction of Gaza, and whether the UN vote on a ceasefire can change the situation on the ground.

Aftermath of Israeli airstrikes on houses in Khan Younis.
Relatives and colleagues of two Palestinian journalists, Hasouna Slim and Sari Mansoor, killed in an Israeli strike, mourn over their bodies during their funeral in Deir al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 19, 2023.


Who was the female journalist killed in Gaza?
Atallah, a Palestinian female freelance journalist who contributed to multiple media outlets, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the house in which she and her family was taking refuge, in the El-Daraj area of Gaza city in northern Gaza on December 9, according to Arabi 21, Anadolu news agency, and the Palestinian
How many Muslims live in Gaza?
The U.S. government estimates the total Palestinian population at 3 million in the West Bank and 2 million in the Gaza Strip (midyear 2022). According to the U.S. government and other sources, Palestinian residents of these territories are predominantly Sunni Muslims, with small Shia and Ahmadi Muslim communities.
Was Palestine a country before Israel?
While the State of Israel was established on 15 May 1948 and admitted to the United Nations, a Palestinian State was not established. The remaining territories of pre-1948 Palestine, the West Bank - including East Jerusalem- and Gaza Strip, were administered from 1948 till 1967 by Jordan and Egypt, respectively.
News organizations, including those in Israel, are not able to independently access Gaza. In November, 11 news organizations sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi urging them to allow their journalists into Gaza to report on the war.
Who owns the Gaza Strip?
The Gaza Strip and the West Bank had been occupied by Egypt and Jordan, respectively, since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War until the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 and has since maintained control.
Who started the war in Gaza?
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that holds power in the Gaza Strip, launched a stunning surprise attack on Israel early Saturday, prompting Israel to declare war. Hamas militants said their invasion was retribution for worsening conditions for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.11 Oct 2023

The history of conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza

Palestinian territories - Wikipedia

How many children killed in Gaza?
Geneva - Israel has killed more than 10,000 infants and children since the start of its attack on the Gaza Strip on 7 October, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reported in a statement issued Saturday.9 Dec 2023

Over 10,000 infants and children killed in Israel's Gaza genocide ...

https://euromedmonitor.org › article
Who owned Gaza before Israel?
Held by the Ottoman Empire until 1917, it passed from British to Egyptian to Israeli military rule over the last century and is now a fenced-in enclave inhabited by over 2 million Palestinians.10 Oct 2023

A brief history of Gaza's 75 years of woe | Reuters

https://www.reuters.com › world › middle-east › brief-hi...

‘I’m not just covering the news – I’m living it’: Gaza’s citizen journalists chronicling life in war

Plestia Alaqad went from Instagrammer to reporter after her footage of Israel’s assault on besieged enclave went viral

Plestia Alaqad in press helmet and jacket
By Ruth Michaelson 12th December 2023

he video that made Plestia Alaqad go viral was simple yet traumatic. Early in Israel’s assault on Gaza, she was filming in a neighbour’s flat in Gaza City, showing how they had removed the glass from the windows and were sheltering in the interior.

But as she filmed, a series of strikes hit close to the building, filling the air outside with dust. Alaqad did not flinch but her face became an open-mouthed mask of shock.

“I was trying to explain things, but I think you can hear them now,” she said. The video has been liked more than 200,000 times.

Looking back at the video from an uncomfortable exile in Australia, Alaqad, 22, was as surprised as any viewer about her lack of reaction in that moment.

“I understand why the video went viral, why people ask how I can be calm in a situation like that, whether I’m used to these things, or traumatised. People wonder, because I wonder too,” she said, speaking over Zoom.

Israeli flare in smoke-filled sky
An Israeli flare illuminates the sky as bombs explode in northern Gaza Strip. Photograph: Jim Hollander/UPI/Shutterstock

Alaqad’s journey from using Instagram to teach outsiders about daily life in Gaza to war reporter happened fast. Before the war she worked for a marketing agency and conducted media training, using Instagram to photograph everyday life in the territory, posting rows of colourful parasols at the beach or sharing selfies with her friends. The goal, she says, was to teach her followers that there was more to Gaza than conflict and destruction.

After Hamas launched an unprecedented raid on Israeli towns and kibbutzim on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and taking hundreds hostage, Alaqad began getting calls to work as a reporter for British and French televisions channels, and her Instagram transformed into a personal account of the war.

Her feed rapidly filled with pictures of destroyed neighbourhoods and strangers sharing their food amid shortages. Alaqad recalls standing in a tent filled with corpses, or walking among the rubble trying to remember the buildings that once stood there.

No international journalists have so far been allowed into Gaza unless they embed with the Israeli military, and with Palestinian correspondents for large outlets often overwhelmed with breaking news, social media has often stepped in to fill the gap.

Plestia Alaqad
Plestia Alaqad: ‘I don’t want people just to see us as news.’ Photograph: Plestia Alaqad
Plestia Alaqad Journalist Films Moment Airstrikes Hit Near Her House In Gaza 12th December 2023

On the ground in Gaza, a small group of younger reporters have brought the war to the outside world, sharing their most intimate moments of loss and struggle with an audience of millions.

Bisan Owda, a 25-year-old film-maker who covered the attacks on al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, has 3.1 million Instagram followers on her English-language channel, while the 24-year-old photographer Motaz Azaiza, renowned for his eerie drone shots showing destroyed landscapes, has 15.8 million.

Alaqad’s follower count grew from 4,000 before the war to 4.2 million, and as it did so, she opened every message and email she received from viewers so that she could respond to their questions.

“Instagram is a personal diary for me to connect with people, to show them what’s happening, showing them Plestia the human, not only Plestia the journalist. That’s my job,” she said.

Her personal touch found a niche that television news failed to capture, giving an intimate view of day-to-day life inside the enclave where more 1.8 million people have been displaced and entire neighbourhoods destroyed. The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 18,200 people, and almost no family has been untouched by loss.

Sixty-three journalists and media workers have been killed in the war since 7 October, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The Al Jazeera bureau chief, Wael al-Dahdouh, lost his wife, son, daughter and grandson in an Israeli airstrike on his home. Moamen Al Sharafi, another reporter for the network, lost 22 family members in a single attack.

Many Palestinian reporters have kept working despite displacement, the deaths of family members and the ever present danger of injury and death.

“For me, it’s important to build a relationship with people, in order for them to be interested and invested in what’s happening,” said Alaqad. “I’m not just a journalist, I’m not just someone covering the news. I’m also living it.”

She often spent hours looking for somewhere to charge her phone or find enough internet coverage to upload her material. These challenges only worsened after the electricity was cut completely and frequent communications blackouts.

“I don’t want people just to see us as news,” she said. “That’s why Instagram in general is important to me. It means building a connection. We’re not just news that you can switch off with the television when you’re done for the day.”

For Alaqad, a turning point was the death of Belal Jadallah, the renowned head of the nonprofit media group the Press House-Palestine, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his car. Jadallah had been an inspirational figure for a generation of Palestinian reporters, and his death was a heavy blow.

She returned her flak jacket and helmet marked “press” to the Press House, fearful that they could make her a target, but said she “felt naked without them”.

After work, Alaqad would debate whether to sleep in the car or where she had been reporting – or to return to her family, who had also been repeatedly displaced.

“I used to think, ‘What if I get back to my family, and they are targeted or killed because I chose to be a journalist?’” she said. “Then I thought, ‘What if I don’t go back to them and they get targeted, alone?’”

Alaqad said she often considered whether it would be better for them all to die together. She added: “Now that I’m saying what I was thinking out loud, it sounds crazy. How was it normal to think like that?”

Rescuers at work amid rubble
Civil defence teams and local people continue search and rescue operations among destroyed buildings after Israeli attacks on Gaza City. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

After 45 days reporting on the destruction, Alaqad left Gaza amid growing fears for her family, but she was plagued by guilt about being able to leave the territory.

From exile in Melbourne, she has taken to staying up all night, watching events unfolding at home as she scrolls on her phone, trying to keep up with the news.

Owda and Azaiza have recently posted messages to their followers, saying they fear they are unlikely to survive the coming weeks as Israeli forces advance into southern Gaza.

“A couple of days ago, I was the news, I was there covering the news. And now I’m just … refreshing, refreshing each page trying to know anything, trying to see if my friends are alive or dead.”

Who will shine a light on the atrocities in Gaza if all the journalists are wiped out?
Owen Jones
Owen Jones
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Israeli military took no accountability for journalists it killed over past 20 years, press freedom group says

Killing of journalists in the 2023 Israel–Hamas war

Killing of journalists in the 2023 Israel–Hamas war - Wikipedia

As of 10 December 23, at least 63 journalists (56 Palestinian, 4 Israeli and 3 Lebanese)[1] have been killed during the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, alongside other violence against journalists, making it the deadliest period for journalists in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict since 1992 and the deadliest start of a war in the 21st century for journalists. By 6 December, it was believed to be the deadliest war for journalists in decades.[2]

An estimated 48 media facilities in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli airstrikes.

Reporters Without Borders claimed that the Israeli army had deliberately targeted Palestinian and Lebanese journalists.[3]


As of 15 December, over 19,000 Palestinians and Israelis in all have been killed in the Israel–Hamas war, including 64 journalists (57 Palestinian, 4 Israeli and 3 Lebanese) and over 100 UNRWA aid workers.[4][5]

On 7 October 2023, more than 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals, mostly civilians, were killed and 248 taken hostage during the initial attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip.[6][7] Since then, over 18,600 Palestinians (the majority of whom were women and children) in the Gaza Strip have been killed according to the Gaza Health Ministry.[8] A further 248 Palestinians were also killed in the West Bank by Israel military and settlers, and nine Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the West Bank in the same period.[9] Casualties have also occurred in other parts of Israel, in southern Lebanon, and Syria.[10] The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association has condemned the spate of deaths and restated that: "Targeting journalists is a stark violation of press freedom and international human rights law".[11]

Killing of journalists by Israeli forces

On 7 October, Israeli police damaged equipment of a television crew reporting in Ashkelon.[12] On the same day, a journalist named Omar Abu Shawish was killed in Gaza.[13]

Journalists Mohammed El Salhi, Ibrahim Mohamed Lafi, Mohamed Jarghoun, Ibrahim Qanan, Nidal Al Wahidi, and Haitham Abdelwahid also faced various forms of violence or went missing.[14][15][16]

On 10 October 2023, the Hajji Tower airstrike destroyed an apartment block housing journalists' offices, killing at least three journalists along with civilians.[17][18][19][20] Salam Khalil, the head of the Gaza Journalists Syndicate's Committee of Women Journalists, was buried under the rubble of her home together with her family in an Israeli strike on the same day and presumed dead. She was subsequently found to be alive with her children.[21][22]

On October 12, Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah was killed and six others were wounded by IDF artillery in southern Lebanon.[23]

On 17 November, the Turkish news channel TRT World released footage showing the Israeli police attacking their news crew, leading the Turkish minister of communications Fahrettin Altun to say, “This ugly attack has added a new embarrassment to Israel’s record on press freedom."[24] On 19 November, six media professionals were killed by Israeli forces in just 24 hours.[25] On 3 December, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated 54 Palestinian journalists had been killed in the war thus far.[26]

Killing of journalists' families

Several members of the family of Al Jazeera Arabic's Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh were killed in an Israeli airstrike on 25 October in the Nuseirat refugee camp, south of Wadi Gaza, where they had been sheltering after following the Israeli order for Palestinian civilians to move south from northern Gaza.[27] Al Jazeera condemned the killings, calling it an "indiscriminate attack".[28] Dahdouh, speaking to Al Jazeera, said "There is no safe place in Gaza at all".[29] The Israeli army confirmed it had conducted an airstrike in the area near where Dahdouh's family had been sheltering, saying they were targeting "Hamas terrorist infrastructure".[30] On 4 December, nine family members of CNN producer Ibrahim Dahman were killed in an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza.[31] On 11 December, an airstrike on the home of journalist Anas al-Sharif resulted in the death of his father.[32] Dahdouh himself was later injured in an Israeli missile strike in Khan Younis while covering the Haifa School airstrike.[33][34][35]

Claims of IDF targeting of journalists

During the conflict, Reporters Without Borders claimed that the Israeli army had deliberately targeted journalists.[3][36][37] A Reporters Without Borders (RSF) investigation said that Israel had targeted journalists in missile strikes on 13 October that killed Reuters reporter Issam Abdallah and injured four others. These two Israeli missile strikes, 30 seconds apart, hit a group of seven journalists in southern Lebanon who were reporting on the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. In a video, the journalists are seen wearing vests and helmets identifying them as "PRESS". The marking was also present on the roof of their car, which exploded after being hit by the second missile.[38]

According to the Council of Europe, the intentional targeting of journalists constitutes a war crime.[39] The killing of journalists by Israeli forces in Gaza had been a recurring issue, with previous incidents in 2018 and 2021.[40][41] Earlier in 2023, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released a report stating that 20 journalists had been killed by Israeli military fire since 2001, for which "to date, no one has been held accountable".[11]

Killing of journalists by Palestinian forces

Four Israeli journalists and photographers were killed on the 7 October amid the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel, including Yaniv Zohar, a photographer for Israel Hayom, who was killed along with his wife and two daughters in Nahal Oz massacre;[42] Roy Edan, a photographer for Ynet, who was killed in the Kfar Aza massacre;[43] and two editors who were killed in the Re'im music festival massacre: Shai Regev, an entertainment news editor for Ma'ariv,[44] and Ayelet Arnin, an editor for KAN.[45]

Israeli photojournalists driving in a convoy towards Re'im were attacked by Hamas militants, as they were documenting the scene of one of the massacres.[46] The journalists were rescued by IDF reservists after a firefight that lasted roughly half an hour.[46]

Other violence against journalists

Alongside those killed, missing or detained, the Committee to Protect Journalists has received numerous reports of damage done to journalists' offices and homes, and estimates that "48 media facilities in Gaza have been hit or destroyed".[11]

In Israel, the Israeli journalist Israel Frey was also forced into hiding after he dedicated a prayer to the victims of the war in Gaza and a right-wing mob stormed his home, threatening his family.[11][47]

International response and investigation

Lucciano Zaccara, a professor at Qatar University, stated "I don’t think there is another situation like this in any other conflict zone".[48] The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to end Israeli abuses against journalists.[49] Jeremy Scahill stated Israel was "systematically killing the Palestinian journalists".[50]


Lebanon denounced the killing of Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah, who was killed during an Israeli artillery strike aimed at a group of reporters. Following Abdallah's death, the Lebanese army conducted an on-site assessment, affirming that Israel had launched the missile that killed him.[51][52] Lebanon's Foreign Ministry has instructed its mission to the UN in Beirut to express deep concerns regarding what they perceive as a clear infringement on freedom of opinion and press. Additionally, Lebanon is preparing to file a formal complaint with the UN Security Council, accusing Israel of intentionally causing Abdallah's death.[53][54]


The Israeli military said it using tank and artillery fire in the vicinity to deter a potential infiltration from Lebanon at the time Issam Abdallah was killed. They stated that their actions were in response to Hezbollah fire along the Israel-Lebanon border, and the incident is currently being reviewed.[51] The Israeli army also initiated an investigation into the circumstances circumstances surrounding Abdallah's death.[54]

On 9 November, following an article published by HonestReporting, Israeli officials suggested that several freelance Palestinian photographers who had documented the 7 October attack in real time must have known of it in advance.[55][56] Outlets that obtained the photos, including AP, Reuters, CNN and the New York Times, denied embedding their reporters with the attackers or having any prior knowledge of the attack.[56][55][57] One of the freelance photographers, who had previously published a photo of himself being kissed on the cheek by Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, was subsequently dismissed by CNN and AP.[56] Nevertheless, MK Danny Danon suggested that journalists who "took part in recording the assault" would be "eliminated."[58] Gil Hoffman, executive director of HonestReporting, admitted the group had no evidence to back up its claims, and that they were satisfied with journalists' explanations that they did not know about the attacks beforehand.[59]

International press bodies

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is actively looking into all cases of journalists affected—whether killed, injured, detained, or missing—due to the conflict.[60] CPJ stated this was the deadliest conflict for journalists in the past 30 years.[61] They have urged Israel to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of Palestinian journalist Mohammad El-Salhi, make the results of the investigation public, and promptly take measures to guarantee the safety of media personnel covering the conflict.[62] Reuters has called on Israel to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Abdallah's death.[51]

On 1 November, Reporters Without Borders asked the International Criminal Court to begin a priority war crimes investigation into the killing of nine journalists.[63] RSF noted 41 journalists had been killed during the first month of the conflict, stating multiple journalists had been killed by Israel in their homes.[64] Israel maintains records of the place and residence of every person in Gaza.[65] RSF claimed Israel had used targeted strikes to kill journalists in Gaza.[66]

The director of Democracy for the Arab World Now stated international journalists were portrayed by the Israeli government as being biased toward Palestinians, and as a result, soldiers saw journalists as "representative of their enemy" and were thus not punished for killing the media.[67] The International Federation of Journalists stated, "I think this is now a press freedom issue. I think we have to ask ourselves, 'What is the [Israeli military] trying to achieve? Why won’t they let foreign journalists in?'"[68]

Protests and rallies

Numerous Pakistani journalists gathered for a rally in Karachi to condemn what they viewed as intentional attacks on the media in Gaza. They called upon the United Nations to take action to halt Israeli aggression against media outlets. During the rally, they prominently displayed banners and placards featuring images of journalists who had been killed in Israeli airstrikes.[69]


Funerals for the journalists who had been killed have taken place in their respective countries. In Lebanon, a large gathering attended Issam Abdallah's funeral in his hometown. His body was adorned with a Lebanese flag and was transported from his family residence to the nearby cemetery in the southern town of Khiam.[53][54][70]


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External links