A journalist’s car burns at the site where Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah was killed and six others were injured on October 13, 2023. (Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani)

The high risks of reporting the Israel-Hamas war

The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.

The Israel-Gaza conflict has unleashed hostility, new censorship measures, and deadly physical risk, making reporting on the war exceptionally challenging, with little sign of abating at a time when it is critical for facts to shed light in the fog of war.

🚨 The escalating conflict has resulted in the deadliest two-week period for journalists since CPJ began tracking in 1992. CPJ has now documented 27 journalists killed in the war as of October 26, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian.

Other journalists report being assaulted, arrested, threatened, and targeted with cyberattacks and censorship, both in Israel and the two Palestinian territories, Gaza and the West Bank.

Beyond the deaths, censorship measures have included:

💥 A BBC Arabic team was dragged from their vehicle, searched, and held at gunpoint by police in Tel Aviv, despite their vehicle being marked “TV” and presenting their press cards to police.

💥 An Israeli columnist and journalist went into hiding after his home was attacked by a mob of far-right Israelis after he expressed solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

💥 Israeli officials threatened to close Al-Jazeera’s local offices, and Israel Defense Forces ordered the West Bank-based J-Media Agency to shut down, stating that its closure was necessary for “the sake of the security of the State of Israel and for the safety of the public and public order.”

Dive deeper:

Explore CPJ’s documentation of journalists who have been killed in the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Use and share our safety advice for journalists covering conflict and civil unrest.

Follow updates on social media: On X, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Listen to CPJ’s MENA Program Coordinator, Sherif Mansour, speak about the deadly toll of reporting from Gaza and Israel with WNYC On the Media.

🗓️ Mark your calendar: Next Tuesday, October 31, CPJ will publish its 2023 Global Impunity Index, an annual list and report on countries where perpetrators of journalist murders continue to evade justice.

Global press freedom updates

  • Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi sentenced
  • Journalist kidnappings on the rise in Haiti as violence spikes
  • CPJ calls on Kyrgyzstan parliament to reject Russian-style “foreign agents” bill
  • Nigerian journalist Saint Mienpamo Onitsha charged with cybercrime
  • Guinean journalists arrested, attacked at protest over blocking of news website
  • Russia extends detention of RFE/RL journalist Alsu Kurmasheva
  • Algerian authorities deliver hefty prison sentences to journalists Saad Bouakba and three others


CPJ’s 2023 annual report highlights our efforts to help journalists through awareness, advocacy, and assistance. This three-pronged approach, alongside our strategic plan, is how CPJ works to ensure journalists can bring us the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

⚡️Among the impacts highlighted: CPJ’s efforts to secure the release of Georgian journalist Nika Gvaramia; and a map of the financial and non-financial assistance CPJ provided in 2022, including to the increasing number of journalists in exile and those requesting trauma assistance reporting on climate and environmental disasters.

As the challenges for journalists continue to mount, we’re thankful for your support.

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