Media Watchdog Files ICC Case Over Journalists’ Deaths In Gaza

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) stated Monday that it had filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court over the deaths or injuries of Palestinian journalists in Gaza.

RSF said it was seeking the ICC prosecutor to look into suspected war crimes committed by the Israeli army against at least nine Palestinian journalists since December 15.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced in January that it was investigating potential crimes against journalists since the commencement of hostilities between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, which has claimed the lives of over 100 reporters.

The RSF stated that it had “reasonable grounds for thinking that some of these journalists were deliberately killed and that the others were the victims of deliberate IDF (Israel Defence Force) attacks against civilians.”

This is the RSF’s third complaint, and it covers eight Palestinian journalists who were slain between December 20 and May 20, as well as one who was injured.

“All concerned journalists were killed (or injured) in the course of their work,” the RSF stated.

Antoine Bernard, RSF advocacy and support director, stated, “Those who kill journalists are attacking the public’s right to information, which is even more important in times of conflict.”

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan requested last week that the court issue arrest warrants for top Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Israel has strenuously disputed the claim, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has called drawing parallels between Hamas and Israeli officials “despicable”.

‘Deadliest period for journalists’ 

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, the Gaza war has murdered at least 107 journalists and media workers, making it the “deadliest period for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992”.

The RSF complaint covers the instance of two Palestinian journalists killed in January while working for Al Jazeera.

Hamza Wael Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuria, who also worked as a video stringer for AFP and other news organizations, were killed while “on their way to carry out their duty” for the station in the Gaza Strip, the network reported.

At the time, the Israeli army told AFP that it had “struck a terrorist who operated an aircraft that posed a threat to IDF troops”.

It stated that it was “aware of the reports that during the strike, two other suspects who were in the same vehicle as the terrorist were also hit” .

The Gaza war began after Hamas launched an attack on October 7 that killed around 1,170 persons, the majority of whom were civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli data.

Militants also grabbed 252 hostages, 121 of whom are still in Gaza, including 37 who the army claims are dead.

According to figures from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,984 individuals, the majority of whom are women and children.

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