WASHINGTON, October 14 – Following is a statement from Howard Altman, president of Military Reporters & Editors about honoring those who have lost their lives covering the Israel-Hamas war and the need to investigate the circumstances surrounding those killed and wounded in that effort.
In a world shattered by tragedy, Military Reporters and Editors asks that we all take a moment to honor the fallen among us. For they have risked their lives, and paid the ultimate price, to bring home stories that need telling.
We see no race, no religion, no nationality or belief. We see only that our brother and sister journalists are killed and wounded in the line of duty.
We stand with the Committee to Protect Journalists as they investigate “all reports of journalists killed, injured, detained or missing in the war, including those hurt as hostilities spread to neighboring Lebanon.”
According to CPJ, “at least 11 journalists have been killed, two are missing and two injured since the war began. In the same period, the conflict claimed more than 3,000 lives on both sides and resulted in many thousands of injuries.”
Journalists in Gaza “face particularly high risks as they try to cover the conflict in the face of a ground assault by Israeli troops, devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, and extensive power outages,” according to CPJ. “In the first seven days of the conflict, nine Palestinian journalists have been confirmed dead; one Israeli journalist has been confirmed killed and one reported missing. On October 13, a Beirut-based journalist was killed during a shelling attack in southern Lebanon.”
We concur with the message delivered by CPJ.
“CPJ emphasizes that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Journalists are making great sacrifices across the region covering this important conflict. Measures to ensure their safety must be taken by all parties to stop this deadly and heavy toll.”
Additionally, we add this. While the work is dangerous, there is no rationale for the harassment of journalists by any party in this conflict.
BBC is reporting that its journalists covering the attack on Israel “were assaulted and held at gunpoint after they were stopped by police in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.”
“They were dragged from the vehicle – marked “TV” in red tape – searched and pushed against a wall,” BBC reported.
A BBC spokesperson said journalists “must be able to report on the conflict in Israel-Gaza freely.”
We strongly concur and demand that no authority impede the essential work of journalists.
So today we mourn Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah, and we wish a speedy recovery to those wounded Friday, according to The Washington Post: Reuters journalists Thaer al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh; Al Jazeera journalists Elie Brakhya, a cameraman, and Carmen Joukhadar, a correspondent; and AFP journalist Dylan Collins.
There were others before, and sadly, there will be more to come.
Let us never forget that freedom of the press isn’t free.
About Military Reporters & Editors | MRE
Military Reporters & Editors is the leading organization for U.S. journalists covering national security. MRE provides resources, support, and networking opportunities for its members, fostering excellence in journalism and promoting public understanding of military and national security affairs.
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Contact: Howard Altman, firstname.lastname@example.org