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Death toll of Palestinian journos reaches 100

Published : 24 Dec 2023 10:46 PM

At least 100 journalists have been killed since Israel’s war on Gaza began on October 7, according to new figures released by the government media office in Gaza.

Palestinian journalist Muhammed Abu Hweidy was the latest to be killed in an Israeli air raid on his home in the east of Gaza City on Saturday, the media office said.

“The number of journalists killed has risen to 100, men and women, since the start of the brutal war on the Gaza Strip, after the martyrdom of journalist Mohammed Abu Hweidy in an Israeli airstrike in the Shujaiya neighborhood,” the office said on Telegram social media.

Palestinian officials in Gaza say the number could be much higher.

However, according to a tally by the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 69 journalists have been killed in the conflict, including Al Jazeera Arabic’s cameraman Samer Abudaqa.

More than 50 media premises or offices in Gaza have been completely or partially destroyed by Israeli attacks. Hundreds of Palestinian journalists and their families have been forcibly displaced to the south.

The media workers were also forced to abandon their reporting equipment in offices in the north to live and report under difficult conditions amid frequent communication blackouts.

Journalists working in areas of armed conflict are protected under international humanitarian laws, which Israel is accused of violating repeatedly.

Palestinian journalists have said Israel is deliberately targeting them to silence their stories.

Tim Dawson, deputy general secretary at the International Federation of Journalists, told Al Jazeera it is becoming “impossible to ignore such a terribly, terribly high toll” of journalists.

“I don’t think we have seen a death toll of journalists to this concentration in any conflict that I can think of. There were about 1,000 journalists in Gaza at the beginning of this conflict. And while there are slightly different counts of precisely how many have died, if between seven-and-a-half and 10 percent have died, that is an extraordinarily high number,” he said.

Dawson said the journalists in Gaza “only have cameras, microphones and notebooks and continue doing their work despite this absolutely mind-blowing death toll”.

When asked by Al Jazeera if Israel is targeting journalists, he said some Palestinian journalists have told him they “received threatening calls from people” purporting to be from the Israeli military, “warning them that they are going to be targeted or that their families are going to be targeted in the coming days”.