Israel: journalists blocked from entering Gaza

  • 12 Jan 2024

Israel’s Supreme court has rejected an appeal requesting foreign media access into Gaza.

A petition appeal by the Foreign Press Association filed with the Israeli Supreme Court on 19 December has been rejected over “security concerns.” The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists in condemning the ruling, noting its significant harm on press freedom.

Following Hamas’ deadly 7 October attack on Israel, only a limited number of international media crews have been granted access to the Gaza strip by the Israeli military, under pre-determined conditions. Palestinian journalists based in Gaza have therefore been relied upon to report on the ongoing war.

The IFJ has highlighted Israel’s ban as one that “deprives the public of its right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to receive and impart information without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said: 

“Since 13 October and our call to UNESCO, we have demanded that the Israeli government allow international media to enter the Gaza Strip. It is a matter of global public interest that not only local but also international journalists bear witness and document the ongoing war in Gaza. Prolonging the ban on entering the Gaza Strip is denying the world a true picture of events in Gaza."

At least 95 journalists have been killed since 7 October – 88 Palestinian, four Israeli and three Lebanese. The union has condemned the unprecedented death toll of Palestinian journalists, calling for bombardments to cease and an increased international effort to ensure a just, sustainable peace and future. 

The NUJ is urging members to donate to the IFJ’s Safety Fund to help support journalists in urgent need with assistance and equipment. Find out more about the fund and how to donate.

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