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News Leaders Around the World Pledge Support for Journalists in Gaza

Nearly 60 leaders from international and regional news outlets signed a letter on Thursday and Friday committing their support for journalists covering the war in Gaza and calling for their safety and the freedom to do their work amid intense personal risk.

The letter, coordinated by the Committee to Protect Journalists with the support of the World Association of News Publishers, also called on Israeli authorities to protect journalists as noncombatants, as required by international law, adding that those responsible for violations of that protection should be held accountable.

“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,” the letter says of the Palestinian media workers doing the on-the-ground reporting. “They continue despite the loss of family, friends and colleagues, the destruction of homes and offices, constant displacement, communications blackouts and shortages of food and fuel.”

The signatories include leaders of The Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times and regional outlets across Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Palestinian journalists have faced grave risks or personal loss while trying to report on the war: Some have been injured while reporting; others have lost family members and colleagues. Several have quit amid the challenges. Since Oct. 7, at least 94 journalists have been killed in the war, making it the deadliest period for journalists since the Committee to Protect Journalists started collecting data in 1992, according to the organization. Israeli and Egyptian authorities have prohibited international media from entering Gaza, and journalists from other major news outlets have evacuated, making the true scale of the war impossible to grasp.

According to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists, most of the media workers killed in the war were Palestinian, and many of them were killed along with their families in airstrikes. Some human rights groups have said that Israel has targeted journalists, though Israel has repeatedly denied that accusation.

The letter prompted backlash from some journalists who said they or their colleagues were punished by their news organizations for affirming their support for Palestinian journalists and civilians in letters highly critical of Israel’s war tactics in Gaza.

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