Skyline International strongly condemns the attacks on Palestinian journalists and calls for the protection of press freedom and human rights
Skyline International Foundation of Human Rights strongly condemns the ongoing acts of violence against Palestinian journalists who are simply doing their essential work. Since the beginning of their aggression against the Gaza Strip on October 7, the Israeli occupation forces have targeted journalists, leading to the martyrdom of some of them in order to hide the truth about the crimes they committed. These reprehensible actions flagrantly violate the principles of press freedom laws. It is evident that such targeting is an attempt to suppress the truth and obscure the heinous crimes committed, further emphasizing the urgent need for the protection of journalists and the preservation of their fundamental right to report on events without fear of harm or censorship.
In a recent statement released today, Tuesday, Skyline expresses its deep dismay at the astonishing destruction of Hajji Tower in Gaza city, Palestine, by occupying forces' airstrikes. This devastating incident has tragically led to the loss of lives, including journalist Saeed Radwan Al-Taweel, who served as the editor-in-chief for the Al-Khamsa News website, and journalist Muhammad Rizq Sobh, working as a photographer for Khabar Agency.
In the first moments of the "Al-Aqsa Flood," two young journalists, Mohammad Al-Salhi and Ibrahim Lafi, were killed, two others, Nidal Al-Wahidi and Haitham Abdel-Wahed, are missing, and their fate is still unknown, while others were more or less seriously injured in their work to document the unfolding of events on the ground.
Al-Salhi, the photojournalist of the “Fourth Estate” agency, and Lafi, the photojournalist of the “Ain Media” agency, were killed by the fire of the occupation while covering the events at the Israeli security fence that separates the Gaza Strip east of the Bureij refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza Strip.
According to the Palestinian Journalists Association's records, the two journalists killed were wearing uniforms that identified them as journalists and were carrying equipment and cameras, indicating that they were journalists
Skyline states that these actions undermine the right to freedom of expression and the press, which are essential for the functioning of democratic societies. Journalists play a vital role in providing information to the public and holding those in power accountable. When journalists are targeted, injured, or killed while carrying out their journalistic duties, it not only endangers their lives but also hampers the free flow of information and impedes transparency and accountability. Such violations run counter to international laws and conventions that protect the rights of journalists and uphold the principles of press freedom and freedom of expression, which are crucial elements of a democratic society.
At the end of its statement, Skyline condemns such acts of violence and destruction, emphasizing the urgent need for safeguarding human rights, particularly the safety and protection of journalists and civilians in conflict zones. Skyline calls on the international community to condemn these actions and to work collectively towards ensuring the safety and well-being of journalists in conflict zones, including the Palestinian territories.