Israel’s military told international news outlets that it cannot guarantee the safety of their reporters currently working in the Gaza Strip during the bombardment.
According to Reuters, in a letter penned to Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reuters, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that they are targeting all Hamas military activity in Gaza, but that Hamas is deliberately placing military operations “in the vicinity of journalists and civilians.”
The IDF stated that Hamas’ rockets could misfire and kill people in Gaza. It also added that Israeli strikes targeting Hamas could damage surrounding buildings.
“Under these circumstances, we cannot guarantee your employees’ safety, and strongly urge you to take all necessary measures for their safety,” the IDF letter said.
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In response to the warning, Reuters and AFP both said they are concerned about the safety of their reporters stationed in Gaza.
“We are in an incredibly precarious position and it’s important that the world understands that there is a large team of journalists working in extremely dangerous conditions,” AFP Global News Director Phil Chetwynd said in response after receiving the letter.
“The situation on the ground is dire, and the IDF’s unwillingness to give assurances about the safety of our staff threatens their ability to deliver the news about this conflict without fear of being injured or killed,” Reuters said, responding to the letter.
Journalists in Gaza, southern Lebanon and Israel have been working in dangerous conditions.
At least 29 journalists have been killed since the Israel-Hamas war began, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists. Per the latest CPJ’s Oct. 27 report, 24 Palestinian reporters, four Israeli reporters, and one Lebanese reporter have died since the war broke out.