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As of this writing, the Committee to Protect Journalists has counted at least 63 journalists and media workers killed in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon since Oct. 7.

Among the nearly 16,000 fatalities in the relentless bombardment of Gaza, at least 55 are journalists who were killed by Israeli military airstrikes; four others were reportedly shot by soldiers or killed by shelling from the direction of Israel. During its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Hamas killed at least four Israeli journalists, among the 1,200 people it killed that day.

Record number of journalist killings

Free Press condemns the killing and targeting of journalists — more of whom, according to CPJ, were killed in the first month of this war than in any conflict in the past 30 years. We decry the Israeli military’s destruction of press facilities, the arrests and assaults of journalists, and ongoing threats to silence or expel media trying to cover what’s happening in Gaza and challenge the official narrative of government and military officials. Israel and Egypt have prevented the foreign press from entering Gaza to do independent reporting without military approval or escort.

Bearing witness

We rely on reporters, photographers and translators who risk their lives to expose atrocities and show us what’s actually happening on the ground — especially when those in power and with weapons wish to hide or obscure their abuses. Much of our information also comes from the ability of people in communities to tell their own stories and share images depicting warfare’s human toll. Free Press supports calls for the Israeli government to restore and maintain internet and telecommunications services in Gaza; it should also restore energy, water and other essential lifesaving services and allow in desperately needed humanitarian aid.

As a group focused on media and technology in the United States, Free Press does not usually speak out about international affairs. But we also cannot look away. We call on the U.S. government to do everything within its power and influence to protect journalists and ensure the free flow of information. Most importantly, we urge the government to do whatever it can to save as many lives as possible and prioritize the safety of all civilians in the region — including the journalists and their crews showing news to the world.

Journalists and the stories they tell serve an essential role not just in bearing witness to this horrible war but in bringing it to an end. We mourn the lives lost and yearn for an end to the violence and a permanent ceasefire on all sides. We grieve the unspeakable traumas survivors are facing. We call for the release of all hostages and unjustly detained prisoners held by Hamas and the Israeli government. We wish for a world with safety, dignity, freedom, self-determination and peace for all the people of Gaza, Palestine and Israel.

We know the media system we have — or the one we can build — will shape whether that world is possible. May it be so.

This original license for this photo is available here.

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