ISTANBUL – The number of journalists killed in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict has risen to 23, an international press freedom group said on Monday.
In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the Israel-Palestine conflict has taken a “severe toll” on journalists, adding that among the dead are 19 Palestinians, three Israelis and one Lebanese.
It said eight journalists have also been injured since the conflict began, and there is no information available about three other journalists.
“CPJ is also investigating numerous unconfirmed reports of other journalists being killed, missing, detained, hurt or threatened, and of damage to media offices and journalists’ homes,” the statement added.
CPJ Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Sherif Mansour said journalists are civilians who do “important work” during times of crisis and that warring parties should not target them.
“Journalists across the region are making great sacrifices to cover this heartbreaking conflict. All parties must take steps to ensure their safety,” Mansour added.
The conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment and a blockade since Oct. 7, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.
It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Nearly 6,500 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 5,087 Palestinians and more than 1,400 Israelis, according to official figures. (Anadolu)