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UN Experts Condemn Israel’s Actions Against Journalists in Gaza and the West Bank

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Press release

Geneva – February 4, 2024


UN experts have denounced Israel’s actions against journalists in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, labeling the ongoing military operation in Gaza as the deadliest and most dangerous conflict for media professionals in recent history.

The Human Rights Council media center in Geneva released the statement, expressing profound concern over the alarming number of journalists and media workers who have been killed, attacked, injured, or arrested in the occupied Palestinian territories. The experts emphasized that these actions blatantly disregard international law, particularly in Gaza, following the military response to an attack by Hamas on October 7.

The UN experts condemned all instances of killings, threats, and attacks on journalists, urging all parties involved in the conflict to take measures to protect media personnel. Despite the dangers they face, the experts commended the courage and resilience of journalists and media workers in Gaza who persistently risk their lives in the line of duty, enduring hardship, and tragic losses.

Disturbing reports have surfaced indicating that journalists, identifiable by their labeled vests and helmets or marked press vehicles, have come under attack. The experts argue that such incidents suggest a deliberate strategy by Israeli forces to obstruct the media and silence critical reporting.

Furthermore, concerns were raised about restrictions on media access to Gaza, with worries that Israel might only allow entry for journalists integrated with Israeli forces. The experts highlighted that attacks on media, coupled with severe internet cuts, impede the right to access information for both the people of Gaza and the wider world.

In their concluding remarks, the UN experts called for prompt, independent, and impartial investigations into every killing of journalists by international standards, citing the UN Minnesota Protocol. They urged the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court to address the escalating pattern of attacks and impunity for crimes against journalists since October 7.

According to UN reports, over 122 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza since October 7, with many more injured. Additionally, three journalists lost their lives in Lebanon due to Israeli shelling near the Lebanese border. Israeli forces have also arrested numerous Palestinian journalists in both Gaza and the West Bank, where incidents of harassment, intimidation, and attacks have surged since the October 7 attacks.

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