New York, October 9, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Monday that it was deeply disturbed by reports that at least six journalists were among the civilians who were killed, injured or missing in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza.
On Saturday, two Palestinian journalists were shot dead while out reporting—Ibrahim Mohammad Lafi, a photographer for Ain Media, who was at the Gaza Strip’s Erez Crossing into Israel, and Mohammad Jarghoun, a reporter with Smart Media, who was to the east of Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian press freedom group MADA and the Journalist Support Committee (JSC), a nonprofit that promotes the rights of the media in the Middle East.
In addition, Ibrahim Qanan, a correspondent for Al-Ghad channel, was injured by shrapnel in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, those sources said.
On Saturday, CPJ reported that freelance journalist Mohammad El-Salhi was shot dead in the central Gaza Strip.
“We are extremely concerned that three Palestinian journalists have been killed, with two more declared missing, and another injured while reporting on the conflict between Israel and Gaza since it began on Saturday,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “We call on all sides to remember that journalists are civilians and should not be targeted. Accurate reporting is critical during times of crisis and the media has a vital role to play in bringing news from Gaza and Israel to the world.”
Israel has declared war on Gaza, whose 2.3 million people are ruled by Hamas, in retaliation for the Palestinian Islamist group’s deadly assault on Saturday. About 1,300 people have died in three days of fighting.
On Saturday, a television crew for the privately owned Sky News Arabia said Israeli police assaulted them in the southern city of Ashkelon, which was targeted by Hamas, and damaged their equipment. The channel’s correspondent Firas Lutfi said Israeli police aimed rifles at his head, forced him to remove his clothes, confiscated the team’s phones, and made them leave the area under police escort.
CPJ’s emails requesting comment from the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson for North America and the Israel Police did not receive any replies.
Editor’s note: The headline and first paragraph of this report have been updated to reflect the number of Palestinian journalists reported killed.