New York, January 14, 2009--The Committee to Protect
Journalists mourns the death of four Palestinian journalists who have been
killed since Israeli military operations began in Gaza on December 27. One journalist was
fatally injured while working; three others were killed under unconfirmed circumstances.
mourn the loss of our four colleagues and extend our condolences to their families and coworkers,"
said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's
and North Africa program coordinator. "Their deaths highlight the risks
journalists face in covering the ongoing conflict in Gaza."
Cameraman Basil Ibrahim Faraj was part of a four-member
television crew that was injured
when their car was hit in Gaza on December 27, according to local and international
news reports. In correspondence with CPJ, the foreign press division of the Israel
Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesperson's Unit did not confirm or deny targeting the
building which Faraj was next to when he was hit.
Faraj, who suffered a severe head injury during the attack,
slipped into a coma while being taken to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
He was later transferred to a different hospital in Egypt where he was pronounced dead
on January 7, according to local and international news reports.
In separate incidents, three other journalists--Alaa Murtaja,
Ihab al-Wahidi, and Omar Silawi--were
killed by IDF attacks on January 9, 8, and 3, respectively. The exact circumstances
of their deaths remain unclear, and CPJ continues to investigate.