GAZA: Three more journalists were killed during the weekend, the Reuters news agency reported today.
Belal Jadallah, a journalist and head of the board of the Press House – PalestineI, and two freelance journalists – Hassouna Sleem and Sary Mansour – were killed on Saturday in an Israeli assault on the Bureij refugee camp, in the centre of the Gaza Strip, their relatives said.
The health officials said 17 people died in the same incident.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said a total of 48 the number of journalists and media workers have been killed by Israel since the war started on October 7.
More than 100 members of the Press from 26 news organisations including from international media representatives in Malaysia last week gathered at Dataran Merdeka to express solidarity with their counterparts in Gaza where at least 42 journalists had been killed in the Palestine-Israel conflict.
The 26 news organisations include the National Union of Journalists, Gerakan Media Merdeka, Crime Journalists Association, Foreign Correspondent’s Club Malaysia, Kelab Wartawan KL and Selangor, Kelab Media Prima, Kelab Media Putrajaya and Kelab Media Pahang.
They gathered under the banner “Save Press 4 Gaza” (SP4G), a coalition of Malaysian media clubs, associations and unions to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for its people to be protected from further attacks by Israel.
As reported by NST, representative of SP4G, Sairien Nafis said, they demand for international bodies to facilitate an immediate ceasefire and instant aid to help the remaining population of Gaza and other affected areas.
“We join forces with press associations, including Reporters without Borders, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in demanding an explicit commitment from Israel to end violence against journalists and civilians.
“Western newsrooms, which benefit significantly from the work of Gazan journalists, must take immediate steps to ensure their protection and condemn any actions that jeopardise their safety,” he said.
The Malaysian media, he added, were concerned with the devastating toll on journalists covering the conflict.
“Imagine if it was us there in Gaza. We are on duty and when we go home, our children and family members are dead.
“And we ourselves are uncertain how long we will live amid the atrocities,” said Sairien.
Journalists, he said, have faced not only the inherent risks of reporting but also the dire conditions of power outages, food and water shortages and a collapsing medical system.
He added, it had resulted in the tragic loss of reporters, editors, photographers and producers working tirelessly to bring the realities of the conflict to the forefront of global consciousness.
“As the voice of Malaysian media stands in solidarity with our colleagues in Gaza, SP4G vehemently condemns the targeting of journalists and their families by the Israeli military and government.
“The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate call for global journalists to condemn the targeting of their colleagues resonates deeply with us.
“We stand united in support of their brave efforts to report amid the chaos and destruction in Gaza,” he said.
According to Sairien, their work has been instrumental in bringing the harsh realities of the conflict to the forefront of public awareness, making them an invaluable asset to the global media landscape.
Sairien added, the deliberate targeting of journalists has been a disturbing trend which was evident in the Reporters Without Borders investigation into the Oct 13 Israeli strikes in South Lebanon.
He said, Reuters videographer, Issam Abdallah, lost his life in the attacks while six other journalists sustained injuries.
“Such incidents further highlight the urgent need for international action to protect journalists operating in conflict zones,” he said.