Gaza Project exposes Israel’s systemic killing of journalists

Published June 26, 2024
The wife (R) of Hamza Wael Dahdouh, a journalist with the Al Jazeera television network, and his father Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh (L) mourn over his body during his funeral, after he was killed in a reported Israeli air strike in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on January 7, 2024. — AFP/File
The wife (R) of Hamza Wael Dahdouh, a journalist with the Al Jazeera television network, and his father Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh (L) mourn over his body during his funeral, after he was killed in a reported Israeli air strike in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on January 7, 2024. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: In what has become the deadliest period for journalists since records began in 1992, the UN and independent observers are reporting a “systemic pattern” of targeting journalists and media workers in the Israeli-occupied territories.

A major global cross-newsroom collaboration produced a series of reports this week on the systematic targeting of journalists by Israel. The reports also highlight how journalists in Gaza are defying death threats to perform their duty.

According to the reports, surviving Gazan journalists have long known that their “press vests do not protect them. Worse, the protective gear might further expose them”.

Local reporters know, too, that “they are on their own, with the Israeli authorities banning foreign journalists from entering the Gaza Strip”, the report adds.

Guardian says military views journalists working for Palestinian media outlets as ‘legitimate targets’

“Those who are still there have been injured, detained, lost their family members, lost equipment, and fear working publicly,” says Hoda Osman, executive editor at Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) and member of the Gaza Project.

The Gaza Project is a collaboration of 13 media organisations coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based non-profit continuing the work of journalists under threat.

UK publicaton Guardian, which is also associated with this project, noted that the Israeli military views journalists working for Palestinian media outlets ’to be legitimate military targets“.

Fifty journalists worked together on the Gaza Project to investigate the killing of journalists in Gaza and the alleged threats, and targeting arrests made in the West Bank.

Prohibited from entering the Gaza Strip, they analysed thousands of hours of images and sound to determine precise GPS positions, ballistic trajectories, and the chronology of events.

The project also continued the work of some of the reporters killed, harmed, or arrested by the Israeli army.

The journalists demonstrated that the tower housing the AFP offices in Gaza was the target of two direct strikes on November 2, 2023 — despite assurances from the Israeli military that it had classified AFP premises as “not to be targeted”.

The same day, the premises of the Palestinian Media Group, a production company that broadcast live images from the Gaza Strip, were also targeted by the Israeli military. A journalist was injured in the attack.

The Press House, a sanctuary for Gazan journalists, was destroyed in February by the Israeli military. Its director was killed by shrapnel while trying to flee to the south of the Gaza Strip with his family.

One project report details how Samer Abu Daqqa, a Palestinian journalist, was killed while filming near the Farhana School in Khan Younis.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...
Population crisis
Updated 11 Jul, 2024

Population crisis

Moreover, successful programmes, such as Lady Health Workers, can be utilised to provide information and reproductive health services to women.
Taxing agriculture
11 Jul, 2024

Taxing agriculture

OUR inability to collect sufficient tax revenue is resulting in persistently high fiscal deficits, forcing ...
Negligence at PHOTA
11 Jul, 2024

Negligence at PHOTA

THE impression that the state is being careless towards aspects of organ trade control is damaging. Recent news ...