The tragic death of a Palestinian journalist — a global issue
Since October 7, more than 120 journalists have lost their lives in Gaza.Credit: Unsplash/Engine Accult
  • opinion Written by Aron Benmeir (new york)
  • interpress service
  • World Press Freedom Day 2024

Random imprisonment of journalists is rampant in many countries. over 800 journalists imprisoned, and nearly 550 people were released from prison to mark the start of 2024. Hundreds of people have been killed and countless others have been harassed to prevent them from removing information deemed unfavorable to their respective governments.

More than half of these journalists are detained in just four countries: China, Myanmar, Belarus, and Vietnam. Besides these four countries, other countries are not far behind, such as Turkey, Russia, China, Afghanistan, and Mexico, which is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. In this regard, it is also important to point out the danger and death faced by journalists in other conflict zones in Ukraine.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), since the start of the war in February 2022, Russian forces have killed Eleven journalists and at least 35 others were injured. Twelve other people were detained, two journalists are currently missing, and 233 media outlets were ordered to close.

As egregious as these violations against journalists are, tragically these statistics pale in comparison to what has been and continues to occur with Israel’s Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that 97 journalists and media workers were arrested. Confirmed The deaths in Gaza included an astonishing 92 Palestinian journalists, far exceeding the death toll of journalists in any other conflict zone in recent memory. .

In comparison, only two Israelis and three Lebanese journalists were killed. Overall, 16 journalists were reported injured, four remain missing, and 25 journalists were arrested, according to CPJ. Added to that are routine assaults, threats, cyberattacks, crippling censorship, and even the murder of family members to prevent journalists from doing their jobs.

The question is why such a disproportionate number of Palestinian journalists were killed in Gaza, and how to minimize this unforgivable death, which goes beyond reason and even the horrific realities of a war that goes beyond the limits of inhumanity. The question is, is there anything we can do to limit this? There are four reasons behind the particularly alarming number of Palestinian journalists being killed.

First, many Palestinians who were integrated into civilian communities were killed in the initial Israeli bombing, which destroyed dozens of buildings, killing hundreds of civilians, including many journalists. was also included.

Second, many journalists attempting to report from the front lines of the fighting between Israel and Hamas were killed in crossfire. Sadly, they let their guard down and ended up paying the price with their lives.

Third, many other Palestinian journalists were killed as collateral damage for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Finally, several journalists were deliberately targeted to prevent reporting on the ground. There is no clear number of journalists in this category, as Israel strongly denies the deliberate killing of Palestinian journalists.

Sadly, aside from the need for Palestinian journalists to be extremely careful, journalists are often challenged by both Israel and Hamas simply because they are dedicated to reporting what they see and what is happening. It is very important to increase the pressure to take all precautions to avoid being killed. listen.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Nevertheless, RSF and CPJ should do everything possible to expose the culprits behind this brutal murder of journalists. The UN and the EU should also take all measures to prevent the unjust deaths of Palestinian journalists.

Freedom of the press is at the heart of true democracy, and Western democracies must live up to that call.

Dr. Aron Benmeir He is a retired professor of international relations, most recently at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University. He taught courses in international negotiation and Middle East studies.

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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All rights reservedSource: Interpress Service

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