Palestinian journalists win World Press Freedom Prize for Gaza war coverage

UNESCO — the UN body that promotes world peace and security — has awarded its World Press Freedom Prize to all Palestinian journalists covering the war in Gaza. (Photo/AA)

UNESCO — the UN body that promotes world peace and security — has awarded its World Press Freedom Prize to all Palestinian journalists covering the war in Gaza, where Israel has launched a brutal invasion for more than six months, killing tens of thousands of civilians and turning the tiny enclave into the "deadliest" place for journalists in recent history.

"In these times of darkness and hopelessness, we wish to share a strong message of solidarity and recognition to those Palestinian journalists who are covering this crisis in such dramatic circumstances," Mauricio Weibel, chair of the international jury of media professionals announced on Thursday.

"As humanity, we have a huge debt to their courage and commitment to freedom of expression," he added.

Audrey Azoulay, director general at UNESCO, said the prize paid "tribute to the courage of journalists facing difficult and dangerous circumstances."

Last week a Palestinian journalist was killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza, taking the death toll to 142 media personnel since October 7, 2023, according to Anadolu Agency.

Salem Abu Toyor, a reporter for Al-Quds TV, and his son lost their lives when Israeli fighter jets struck their home in the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza, the TV station said.

The pair were buried in the central city of Deir al Balah.

'No journalist in Gaza is spared'

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) — a global body that promotes press freedom worldwide — says journalists in Gaza face particularly high risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli assault, including devastating Israeli airstrikes.

Christophe Deloire, the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, Paris-based non-governmental organisation focused on safeguarding the right to freedom of information, said, "If the numbers show anything, it is that since October 7, no place in Gaza is safe, no journalist in Gaza is spared, and the massacre has not stopped. We reiterate our urgent appeal to protect journalists in Gaza."

Only UN prize for journalists

World Press Freedom Prize honours an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.

It is the only such prize awarded to journalists by the UN.

The ongoing Israeli war on Gaza has resulted in devastating casualties. Israeli military has killed at least 34,596 Palestinians, with a staggering 70 percent being babies, children, and women, Palestinian officials say.

Additionally, more than 77,816 individuals have been wounded, while over10,000 people are feared buried under the debris of bombed structures.


Source: TRT