London, 15th December 2023 – International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) strongly condemns the Israeli airstrike on Farhana school in Khan Younis, Gaza, resulting in the killing of Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abudaqa and injuring journalist Wael Dahdouh whilst reporting from there. Heavy Israeli bombardment around the school prevented rescue teams to immediately reach Abudaqa leading him to bleed out, Dahdouh was wounded and taken to the hospital to receive treatment.
Journalists have paid a heavy price for their reporting of the Israeli offensive on Gaza. Since October, 13 journalists were killed while actively covering the war. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have produced a report documenting that 56 journalists were killed in Gaza irrespective of whether or not in the line of their work.
In September 2022, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ), and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate made a submission, following an earlier submission in April 2022, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) requesting the Prosecutor to launch an investigation into the systematic targeting, maiming, and killing of journalists as well as the destruction of the media infrastructure in Palestine.
ICJP Senior Legal Counsel Ilora Choudhury said:
“Since Shireen was killed in May 2022, Israeli occupation forces have injured at least 103 journalists while they were working in the OPT. That’s one journalist hospitalised for a serious injury roughly every five days. The similarity between cases, the consistency and the sheer volume all point to one thing: a formal or informal policy of intentional targeting of journalists.”
Earlier during the current war, Israeli airstrikes killed four members of Wael Dahdouh’s family, including his wife, two of his children, and his grandson; today was an attempt at his life. The systematic targeting of Journalists like Samer Abudaqa, Shireen Abu Aqleh, and Wael Dahdouh must be investigated. Journalists are protected under International Law, outlined in Article 79 of Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions.
Notes to Editors:
- The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians is an independent organisation of lawyers, politicians and academics who support the rights of Palestinians and aim to protect their rights through the law.
- For more information, or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact the ICJP news desk at [email protected].