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World Press Freedom Day: Gaza Deadliest Place for Journalists

World Press Freedom Day: Gaza Deadliest Place for Journalists
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By Al-Jazeera

Every year on May 3, UNESCO commemorates World Press Freedom Day.

It is being marked today at a particularly perilous time for journalists globally, with “Israel’s” war on Gaza becoming the deadliest conflict for journalists and media workers.

“When we lose a journalist, we lose our eyes and ears to the outside world. We lose a voice for the voiceless,” Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in his statement.

“World Press Freedom Day was established to celebrate the value of truth and to protect the people who work courageously to uncover it.”

More than 100 journalists and media workers, the vast majority Palestinian, have been killed in the first seven months of war in Gaza, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ] and the International Federation of Journalists [IFJ].

Gaza’s media office has the number at more than 140 killed, which averages to five journalists killed every week since October 7.

Since the start of the war, at least 34596 Palestinians have been killed and 77,816 others injured in Gaza. More than 8,000 others are missing, buried under the rubble.

“The few reporters who have been able to leave bear witness to the same terrifying reality of journalists being attacked, injured and killed … Palestinian journalism must be protected as a matter of urgency.”

On January 7, Hamza Dahdouh, the eldest son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief, Wael Dahdouh, was killed by an “Israeli” missile in Khan Younis. Hamza, who was a journalist like his father, was in a vehicle near al-Mawasi, a supposedly safe area that “Israel” designated, with another journalist, Mustafa Thuraya, who was also killed in the attack.

According to reports from Al Jazeera correspondents, Hamza and Mustafa’s vehicle was targeted as they were trying to interview civilians displaced by previous bombings.

The Al Jazeera Media Network strongly condemned the attack, adding: “The assassination of Mustafa and Hamza … whilst they were on their way to carry out their duty in the Gaza Strip, reaffirms the need to take immediate necessary legal measures against the occupation forces to ensure that there is no impunity.”

On December 15, 2023, Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abudaqa was hit in an “Israeli” drone attack that also injured Wael Dahdouh, while they were reporting at Farhana school in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.

Abudaqa bled to death for more than four hours as emergency workers were unable to reach him because the “Israeli” army would not let them.

Abudaqa was the 13th Al Jazeera journalist killed on duty since the launch of the network in 1996.

In 2022, Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, renowned across the Arab world, was killed by the “Israeli” forces in the occupied West Bank while reporting.

Al Jazeera has called on the international community to hold “Israel” accountable for attacks on reporters.

How many journalists have been killed around the world in 2024?

So far in 2024, 25 journalists and media workers have been killed, according to the CPJ.

At least 20 of those killed were in Palestine. While two were killed in Colombia, and one each in Pakistan, Sudan and Myanmar.

In 2023, more than three-quarters of the 99 journalists and media workers killed worldwide died in Gaza, the majority of them Palestinians killed in “Israeli” attacks on Gaza.