KARACHI: Indepen­dent Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza was named one of the ‘100 Most Influential People’ of 2024 by Time Magazine on Wednesday for acting as the “world’s eyes and ears” during the ongoing Israeli military offensive that has decimated the Gaza Strip, Dawn.com reported.

The list has highlighted the “influential people” under six categories: leaders, pioneers, artists, icons, innovators and titans.

Israel’s military campaign has killed at least 33,899 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the besieged territory.

Meanwhile, at least 97 journalists and media workers, the majority being Palestinian at 92, have been killed since Israel began its retaliatory attacks on the strip, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports.

“Journalists in Gaza face particularlyhighrisks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground assault, including devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages and extensive power outages,” the CPJ notes.

Amid all this, Azaiza extensively documented the impact of the fighting, Israeli aggression and wide-scale destruction of Gaza for over 100 days.

The freelance photographer, who was forced onto the frontlines by the horrors of the conflict as most foreign reporters were denied access to Gaza, gained global attention when he recorded himself wearing a press vest and helmet to report on the conditions during the fighting in Israel.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

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