Dear Members of the European Parliament,
We are sending you this letter although you are fully aware of the situation suffered by the Palestinians for almost three weeks: siege, killings, destruction and forced displacement. In this situation, the lives of journalists are at stake. So is freedom of the press.
We, elected members of the Union of Palestinian Journalists (SJP), urge you to speak out against the killings of Palestinian journalists in Gaza. Currently, three weeks after the start of the war, 24 journalists (including 3 women) have been killed by artillery fire and airstrikes. Some of them were killed alongside their families and children. Two journalists are still missing and may be detained by Israeli forces. Dozens of other journalists were injured (while doing their job). The premises of more than fifty media outlets were destroyed.
As you must know, there are currently no international journalists present in Gaza. Foreign journalists are still not allowed to enter. Palestinian journalists are therefore the only voice capable of reporting what is happening in Gaza, both to Palestinian citizens and to the rest of the world. The voices of these journalists need your support and protection.
As the Gaza Strip is subjected to random bombings, killings and destruction, journalists spend their days trying to find a safe place for their children or queuing for hours for bread and water drinkable. When they manage to do all this, they don’t have electricity or internet to do their work.
The production of journalistic content coming out of Gaza is decreasing significantly. At a time when Palestinian citizens and the entire world urgently need to receive accurate information and reliable reporting, the media sector in Palestine is threatened with total disappearance.
We urge you to urgently demand the protection of journalists, so that press freedom is respected, as you adopted on July 11, 2023 in your Initiative Report Protection of journalists around the world and European Union policy on the subject.
We urge you to do everything in your power to protect Palestinian journalists. We urge you to demand that media equipment and protective equipment for journalists be allowed into Gaza as well as international journalists.
We repeat: freedom of the press as well as the right of citizens to receive vital information are at stake.
These enormous human losses can only be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to silence the voice of the press and erase the truth, in order to cover up evidence of war crimes perpetrated by Israel against Palestinian citizens. s in Gaza.
The Union of Palestinian Journalists (SJP)