Israel-Hamas war takes heavy toll on journalists, 85 lives lost

Amid the prolonged Israel-Hamas war, journalists are facing unparalleled risks, marking the deadliest period on record, according to a recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an American independent non-profit, non-governmental organisation, based in New York City. Since the conflict ignited on October 7, 2023, CPJ’s preliminary investigations reveal that at least 85 journalists and media workers have lost their lives, with 78 Palestinians, 4 Israelis, and 3 Lebanese individuals among the casualties.The toll on journalists is part of a broader count exceeding 28,000 deaths since the conflict’s commencement, with over 27,000 in Gaza and the West Bank and 1,200 in Israel. The report highlights the unprecedented challenges journalists are encountering, particularly those operating in Gaza, including perilous Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages, and extensive power outages.Key findings from CPJ’s latest update:- 85 journalists and media workers confirmed dead (78 Palestinian, 4 Israeli, and 3 Lebanese).- 16 journalists reported injuries.- 4 journalists reported missing.- 25 journalists arrested.The Committee reports that beyond the grim toll in lives, journalists have faced multiple assaults, threats, cyberattacks, censorship, and even the killing of family members. The organisations says that it is actively investigating additional unconfirmed reports of journalists facing harm, detention, threats, or damage to media offices and homes.CPJ emphasises the crucial role of journalists as civilians providing essential coverage during crises, vehemently condemning their targeting by warring parties. The report underscores the unprecedented sacrifices made by journalists in Gaza, losing colleagues, families, and media facilities, prompting some to seek refuge without a guaranteed safe haven or exit.The list, regularly updated by CPJ, includes names sourced from regional contacts and media reports, encompassing all journalists engaged in news-gathering activity. While it remains unclear if all were covering the conflict at their time of death, CPJ includes them in the count, pending further investigation into their circumstances. The dire situation underscores the unparalleled challenges journalists face in the region amid this heart-wrenching conflict.

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