Israeli forces target journalists

Published December 16, 2023
Turkish journalist Enes Canli raises his hands as an Israeli police­man grabs his shirt and blocks him from reaching a colleague in the Wadi Joz neighbourhood of Israel-annexed east Jerusalem.—AFP
Turkish journalist Enes Canli raises his hands as an Israeli police­man grabs his shirt and blocks him from reaching a colleague in the Wadi Joz neighbourhood of Israel-annexed east Jerusalem.—AFP

• Al Jazeera staffer killed in air strike
• Targeting journalists is a war crime, says RSF

CAIRO: An Al Jazeera journalist was killed and another wounded on Friday by a missile fired from a drone in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

One of the two, Wael Al-Dahdouh, was injured in his hand and was being treated at a hospital while Samer Abu Daqqa was initially reported as missing, but late night reports said he had died.

In the West Bank, TV footage captured the aftermath of Israeli forces beating Palestinian journalist Mustafa al-Kharuf in the Wadi Joz neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, where he was covering Pales­tinians near Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Kharuf was hospitalised, and a Turkish journalist, Enes Canli, faced intrusion from Israeli police while trying to reach a colleague after Friday prayers. The police announced the suspension of the involved officers.

Barry Malone, deputy editor-in-chief of Reuters news agency, posted a picture of Al-Dahdouh with a child on X, and wrote that ‘‘solidarity, always, with remarkable Wael Al-Dahdouh’’.

Jonathan Dagher from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deemed the attack against Al Jazeera Arabic colleagues in Khan Yunis unacceptable, highlighting it as part of broader Israeli attacks on journalists, emphasising that targeting journalists during conflict is a “war crime.”

Tim Dawson from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) emphasised the extraordinary challenges faced by journalists in Gaza and called for international law to protect them.

“It’s important for everybody in Palestine … to see international law applies to and protects them, as well as everybody else in the world. I think a lot of the time, and with good reason, they feel like they’re somehow exempted from the protections of international law, and I don’t think that can be allowed to continue,” Dawson said.

At least 56 Palestinian, four Israeli, and three Lebanese journalists and media workers have been killed since Oct 7, with 11 injured, three missing, and 19 arrested, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). CPJ stressed that journalists, as civilians, should not be targeted during the unrest, acknowledging the significant sacrifices made by journalists in Gaza and the region.

“Journalists across the region are making great sacrifices to cover this heart-breaking conflict. Those in Gaza, in particular, have paid, and continue to pay, an unprecedented toll and face exponential threats. Many have lost colleagues, families, and media facilities, and have fled seeking safety when there is no safe haven or exit”, it said.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2023

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