UN Experts: The Deliberate Killing of Journalists in Gaza is a Strategic Tactic Employed by the Israeli Occupation

Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ) welcomes the statement issued by the Special Rapporteurs affiliated with the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The statement affirmed that the killing, injury, and detention of journalists in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are "deliberate strategies by the Israeli forces to hinder the media and silence critical reports." CDFJ emphasized that the aggression on Gaza has become the deadliest and most perilous for journalists in modern history.

CDFJ considered the statement of the rapporteurs as a clear and explicit condemnation of the Israeli occupation and its responsibility for killing journalists in Gaza, attempting to stifle their voices, and silence them. The Center highlighted that, according to UN reports, more than 122 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza since October 7th, and many others have been injured.

The statement by the rapporteurs pointed out the killing of three journalists in Lebanon due to Israeli airstrikes near the Lebanese border. It also mentioned the Israeli forces' arrest of dozens of Palestinian journalists in both Gaza and the West Bank. The rapporteurs noted the increasing of harassment, intimidation, and attacks on journalists since the October 7th attacks.

CDFJ reviewed the details of the statement in which the rapporteurs expressed deep concern over Israel's refusal to allow external media to enter Gaza unless accompanied by Israeli forces. They emphasized that attacks on the media in Gaza, restrictions on other journalists accessing Gaza, along with severe internet disruptions, "constitute major obstacles to the right to access information for the residents of Gaza and the external world."

CDFJ expressed its particular appreciation for the statement, acknowledging the "courage and resilience of journalists and media workers in Gaza who continue to risk their lives every day in the performance of their duties, while also enduring immense hardship and tragic losses for colleagues, friends, and families in Gaza amidst one of the most deadly and harsh conflicts of our time." The Center emphasized that journalists in Gaza rarely pay "such a steep price" for simply carrying out their work, as is happening now in Gaza.

CDFJ praised the stance of the Special Rapporteurs, who urged in their statement the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court to pay special attention to "the dangerous pattern of attacks and impunity for crimes committed against journalists," emphasizing that the targeting and killing of journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories "must stop."


It is worth noting that the Special Rapporteurs who issued the statement on February 2nd include Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories; Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Morris Tidball-Binz, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions; and Ben Saul, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

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