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Jan. 11, 2024, 2:32 p.m.
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LINK: cpj.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Hanaa' Tameez   |   January 11, 2024

Seventy-nine journalists and media workers have been killed covering the Israel-Gaza war began on October 7, 2023, according to numbers released Thursday by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Of the 79, CPJ says, 72 were Palestinian, four were Israeli, and three were Lebanese. Another 21 journalists have been arrested, 16 injured, and three have been reported missing. CPJ’s data shows that more journalists were killed in the first 10 weeks of the conflict than have been killed in any country in a given year.

“Journalists in Gaza face particularly  high  risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground assault, including devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages and extensive power outages,” CPJ said.

How long the conflict will continue is unclear, but it’s taken an immense toll on journalists and others covering events on the ground. On Wednesday, Palestinian blogger Ismail al Dahdouh, who has more than 1.2 million Instagram followers, posted that he will stop covering the war out of exhaustion and a lack of faith that his work would bring about change.

“Dear friends, I am announcing the end of my coverage of this ongoing aggression. We documented more than enough of crimes, massacres, and the genocide that we were facing for the last 96 days…” al Dahdouh wrote in Arabic. (In the comments of the post, he provided an English translation.) He added, “I survived death multiple times, and put [myself] in danger to show you the situation on the ground, and I believe that’s enough for now.”

 

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A post shared by Ismail al Dahdouh (@ismail.jood)

Plestia Alaqad, a Palestinian citizen journalist with 4.7 million Instagram followers, fled to Egypt in November out of fear of her family being targeted over her work. Last week, she posted a poem she wrote in Arabic to describe the emotional toll the violence has taken on her.

“People used to ask me how am I holding up or not crying in my videos and this is the answer,” Alaqad wrote in the caption. “I always felt and I still feel that I don’t have time to express my emotions..crying or having time to express your emotions during war is a privilege.”

GQ Middle East named Motaz Azaiza, a 24-year-old Palestinian visual journalist with 18 million Instagram followers and a million X followers, its 2023 Man of the Year, saying that he “personifies the power of digital activism, and his humanity is an important reminder that bravery appears in many forms.”

In a December video where Azaiza is trying to access data on his phone, he says, “no one ask about my mental health. It’s gone.”

Yesterday Azaiza posted on X and Instagram that he’s struggling to continue working. “Should I keep filming and covering anymore?” he wrote. “Till when I will keep standing on my feet?”

In an interview this week with Indian journalist Rana Ayyub, Palestinian journalist Hind Khoudary said she cried twice will reporting live on air. The first time was when a young girl was transferred from an ambulance to a hospital with her teddy bear. The second time was when she was reporting on her friend, Al Jazeera journalist Hamza al Dahdouh, being killed by an Israeli airstrike on his car. (His father is Wael al Dahdouh, Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief, who continues to report daily, even after losing his wife, two sons, and grandchild in the last three months.)

“How can I hold up all of my feelings?” Khoudary said. “I’m part of this. I live here. These are my people. How [can I] not cry? I can’t not cry.”

Khoudary told Ayyub that she’ll continue to report and will stay in Gaza to do so, despite the challenges.

“I would never leave my people [to] live this on [their] own,” Khoudary said. “I want to experience everything because when I report about starvation, I went through starvation. When I report about being injured or being homeless or being displaced or losing a great person or the pain, I live this. I went through this. I’m telling the story about my people but I’m also part of the story.”

 

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A post shared by Nida’ Ibrahim (@nida_aljazeera)

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