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Palestinian journos covering Gaza war win UNESCO press freedom prize

The widow (R) of Hamza Wael Dahdouh, a journalist with the Al Jazeera television network, and his father Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh (L) mourn over his body after he was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on January 7, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has awarded its world press freedom prize to all Palestinian journalists covering Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

Mauricio Weibel, chair of the international jury of media professionals, announced the prize during a ceremony in Chile’s capital Santiago on Thursday, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day.

"In these times of darkness and hopelessness, we wish to share a strong message of solidarity and recognition to those Palestinian journalists who are covering this crisis in such dramatic circumstances," he said.

"As humanity, we have a huge debt to their courage and commitment to freedom of expression."

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said the prize paid "tribute to the courage of journalists facing difficult and dangerous circumstances."

Israel unleashed its US-backed Gaza onslaught on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out a surprise operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 34,596 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 77,816 others.

It has been deliberately targeting journalists and their families in a bid to prevent them from exposing Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.

‘146 journalists killed in Gaza war’

On Friday, Hamas appreciated the media workers and journalists who convey the truth about the Israeli offensive and expose atrocities against Palestinians.

In a statement marking World Press Freedom Day, the resistance group also warned that Israeli crimes against journalists will not obscure the regime’s terrorism.

It further said that 146 media workers and journalists have been killed so far during the Gaza war.

The Zionist regime is conducting an “aggressive war against journalists, media professionals, and Palestinian media outlets, through direct and deliberate targeting, including killings, arrests, pursuits, and restrictions” in blatant violation of all international norms and covenants, Hamas pointed out.

“We demand all human rights institutions criminalize violations and crimes of the occupation against Palestinian journalists.”

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