At least 12 journalists were killed in the past eight days in the Israel-Hamas war, ticking the death toll for media workers covering the conflict up to 36.
Hamas, a militant group based in Gaza, unleashed a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7. In retaliation, Israel launched airstrikes at the territory and declared war. An estimated 10,000-plus people — 9,000 in Gaza and the West Bank and 1,400 in Israel — have been killed, along with journalists who have been covering the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the overall war.
The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that as of Friday, 31 Palestinian journalists, four Israeli journalists and one Lebanese journalist have been killed since the war broke out on Oct. 7. CPJ also reported several other journalists injured, missing or arrested, and reported censorship, threats, assaults, cyberattacks and the killing of journalists’ family members.
“CPJ emphasizes that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties,” Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said in a statement.
“Journalists across the region are making great sacrifices to cover this heart-breaking conflict. Those in Gaza, in particular, have paid, and continue to pay, an unprecedented toll and face exponential threats. Many have lost colleagues, families, and media facilities, and have fled seeking safety when there is no safe haven or exit.”
The Israel Defense Forces told Reuters on Oct. 27 that it could not guarantee journalists’ safety in Gaza.
Among the journalists killed this week were Palestinian journalist Yasser Abu Namous, who worked for the media organization Al-Sahel, and Nazmi Al-Nadim, who worked for Palestine TV. Both were killed by airstrikes at their respective families’ homes in Gaza on Oct. 27 and Oct. 30.
Al-Nadim’s family died with him, the fate of other journalists and their families this week as well.
On Nov. 2, journalist and correspondent for Palestinian TV Mohammad Abu Hattab was killed along with 11 members of his family in an Israeli airstrike at their home in the Gaza Strip.
Shortly after Abu Hattab was killed, his colleague Salman Al-Bashir appeared on the channel.
“Our colleague Mohammad Abu Hattab was standing here only 30 minutes ago, and now he left us, along with his wife, his brother, and many members of his family are now victims here inside the hospital,” Al-Bashir said, according to CNN.
Al-Bashir also delivered emotional words about the dangerous realities facing journalists covering the war.
“We can’t bear this anymore. We are exhausted, we are here victims and martyrs awaiting our deaths, we are dying one after the other, and no one cares about us or the large-scale catastrophe and the crime in Gaza,” he said on air.
“No protection, no international protection at all, no immunity to anything, this protection gear does not protect us … These are just slogans that we are wearing, it doesn’t protect any journalist at all.”
As Al-Bashir spoke, he took off his helmet and protective press gear.
“We are victims, live on air,” he said, his voice cracking. “We are victims awaiting our turn to be killed. Mohammad was here half an hour ago (reporting). Now he lies dead with his family in this same hospital.”