Monday, February 26, 2024

Number of journalists killed by Israel in Gaza Strip ‘exceedingly high’: UN

The number of journalists killed by Israel during the past months in the Gaza Strip is "exceedingly high", a United Nations associate spokesperson has stated.

“We’ve seen these horrifying reports. We’re very concerned about the killing of journalists in Gaza. We know that the number is exceedingly high in the short amount of time that the conflict has been going on,” Florencia Soto Nino told the reporters.

Her remarks came after two more Palestinian journalists were killed in fresh Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip on Monday, pushing up the tally to 112 since Oct. 7.

Nino added the journalists risked their lives to bring the truth to everyone all over the world.

“This is increasingly hard in the conditions that they are facing over there. So, we reiterate that journalists just like any other civilians must be protected and that they should not be targeted for the job that they’re doing there.”

“We also note that, you know, misinformation about the work that they’re doing can expose them to even greater risks,” she continued.

When asked whether journalists are being deliberately targeted in Gaza, Nino said it is not verifiable at the moment.

“But what we know is that many of them have died and we have repeatedly called for their profession to be respected so that they are able to do it freely and in safety,” she added.

To a question whether Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has “greater fears” of the spread of the Gaza war as a result of the killings of senior Hamas and Hezbollah figures in Lebanon, she said it has the potential to become a more widespread conflict.

“We continue to call for restraint and for all of the actors involved to do everything in their power to prevent the escalation of the situation in the region,” Nino stated.

Guterres is in contact with several parties to try to prevent the escalation from happening, she added.

Israel has launched air and ground attacks on the enclave since Oct. 7, killing at least 23,000 Palestinians and injuring 59,000 others, according to Gaza’s health authorities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine.

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