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Media outlets sign letter in solidarity with journalists in Gaza, call for protection

Palestinian journalists attempt to connect to the internet using their phones in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip on December 27, 2023 (Photo by AFP)

A group of leaders of more than 30 news organizations from around the world have called for the protection of journalists working in Gaza as Israel continues its atrocities in the strip.

In an open Thursday letter, coordinated by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the news outlets voiced their solidarity with journalists in Gaza, saying they should be free to report.

Global news agencies Agence France-Presse (AFP), the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, as well as other leading media outlets including the New York Times, BBC News and Israel's Haaretz signed the letter. The Association for International Broadcasters and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) were also among the signatories of the letter.

“For nearly five months, journalists and media workers in Gaza – overwhelmingly, the sole source of on-the-ground reporting from within the Palestinian territory – have been working in unprecedented conditions,” the letter read.

“These journalists – on whom the international news media and the international community rely for information about the situation inside Gaza – continue to report despite grave personal risk.”

Israel launched the genocidal war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 30,228 Palestinians, mostly children and women, and injured 71,377 others.

The letter comes as at least 94 journalists have been killed since the beginning of Israel's war, with 89 of them being Palestinians.

"Journalists are civilians and Israeli authorities must protect journalists as noncombatants according to international law," said the letter.

The media organizations held accountable those who are responsible for any violations of such longstanding protection.

The letter comes after another campaign from more than 50 journalists called on Israel and Egypt to provide "free and unfettered access to Gaza for all foreign media".

Also in a letter, organized by Progressive International, more than 200 parliament members from 12 countries have urged their governments to impose a ban on arms sales to Israel, citing the occupying regime’s “grave violation of international law” in its war on Gaza.

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