Palestine: Israeli drone strike kills Palestinian journalists in Gaza

  • 09 Jan 2024

NUJ calls for an end to Israel's targeting of journalists, as the death toll of Palestinian media workers in the ongoing Israel-Gaza war rises.

The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in condemning the targeting of journalists in Gaza following an Israeli drone strike on 7 January.  

Hamza Al-Dahdouh, son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Al-Dahdouh, and Mustafa Thuraya, a freelance videographer, were killed as they travelled near the city of Rafah in the Gaza strip. The IFJ has refuted Israel’s assertion that terrorists were travelling in the vehicle, stressing instead that authorities appear to be deliberately targeting media workers. 

At least 85 journalists inclduing 78 Palestinians have been killed since Hamas' attack on 7 October. Last year, deaths of journalists arising from the Israel-Gaza war accounted for 68 per cent of all journalists' killings.  

As the number of journalists' deaths rises, the NUJ repeats its call for Israel to adhere to international law, ensuring the protection of journalists as outlined in the Geneva Convention. 

Reports of Israel’s use of artificial intelligence technologies to inform its bombing, has raised alarm about its possible use for the surveillance of journalists.  

The IFJ said:

“The Israeli military has previously boasted about its AI targeting systems that allows it to identify potential victims at great speed and scale. Israel is the home of some of the most sophisticated surveillance systems that have repeatedly been used against journalists. Without proof to the contrary all the evidence points to the assassination of reporters and camera operators. This cannot be allowed to continue."

A report by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate detailing media freedom violations in 2023, states 80 press and media institutions were targeted by Israeli bombing in Palestine, leading to their partial or total destruction. In addition, there were 38 incidents of equipment being destroyed or confiscated by the Israeli army and several journalists in Gaza remain injured, unable to access necessary medical treatment on the Gaza strip. Read the report.

The NUJ is appealing to members, urging donations to the IFJ’s safety fund. The union has made a central donation of £20,000 with several branches donating to help provide emergency assistance to journalists in Gaza. Donate here.

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