At least 21 journalists have died in Gaza and Israel in just two weeks, more than those killed by media coverage of the conflict in the Middle East in the last two decades, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The worrying data has coincided with the approval of emergency measures by the Israeli Government to promote the closure of the chain Al Jazeeraaccused of “disseminating pro-Palestinian propaganda”, and threatening other media with actions that “could harm state security”, amid growing harsh criticism against the BBC for its coverage.
The first three journalists killed were Israeli, during the Hamas attacks on October 7 that caused at least 1,400 fatalities. The majority of the deceased information professionals, seventeen in total, are however Palestinians who are among the 3,785 killed in the Israeli air offensive in Gaza. A Lebanese cameraman has died while covering Hezbollah skirmishes on the border with northern Israel.
“Journalists in the region they are making great sacrifices to cover this harrowing conflict,” warned Sherif Masour, CPJ’s Middle East coordinator. “All parties must take steps to ensure the safety of professionals, who are civilians who perform important work in times of crisis and should not be singled out as objectives”.
The lethal count began on October 7 during Hamas attacks on Israeli soil. Yaniv Zohar, photographer for the Israel Hayom newspaper, He was murdered along with his wifer and his two daughters. The other two deceased were Shai Regev, Culture Director of the Maáriv publication, and Ayelet Arnin, 22, editor of the state channel Kan, who is among the more than 200 victims of the Supernova festival.
Three Palestinian journalists They died in the bombings launched by Israel on October 9 on the Rimal district, west of Gaza, where several local media were based. The three were identified as Saeed Al-Taweel, editor-in-chief of the Al-Khamsa news portal; Mohammed Sobh and Hisham Alnwajha, photographer and editor at the Khabar agency.