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In Gaza

In Gaza
Fri, 05 Apr 2024 08:31:03 +0000

1. Interviewed on The David Kurten Show: “Hypocrisy and culpability of Western politicians/MSM on Ukraine and Gaza”


First published @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37a4haHEw7I & https://tntradio.live/shows/the-david-kurten-show/

My Odysee upload

My Related Links:

The Donbass: My Articles, Videos & Interviews From/On the Donetsk & Lugansk People's Republics (2019-present)

The West is silent as Ukraine targets civilians in Donetsk using banned 'Petal' mines

In Just Under Three Weeks, Ukrainian-Fired Prohibited "Petal" Mines Maim At Least 44 Civilians, Kill 2, in Donetsk Region [August 23, 2022, Covert Action Magazine]

Human Rights Watch deliberately only scratched the surface in exploring Ukraine's use of banned 'petal' mines

As Donetsk civilians live in constant fear of Ukrainian shelling, from on the ground, I detail the terror

What I've seen of Ukraine's war crimes against civilians in the Donbass over the years

-My Gaza Playlist

Israeli Massacre of Gaza 2008/2009

Unethical, hypocritical and cruel: Western aid cut will cause more pain for starving Gaza civilians

-"The Popular and Tribal Committees for Securing Aid in Gaza Governorate and Northern Gaza announced on Sunday suspending aid provision due to the ongoing Israeli strikes targeting their members waiting for trucks on Salah al-Din Street – Kuwait Roundabout.
The Israeli occupation forces have committed several massacres against the committee's members, resulting in the martyrdom of over 70 people."
[link]

Israel is now killing Palestinians in Gaza by starvation–media downplaying this are complicit in these preventable deaths. March 10, 2024, RT.com, In Gaza

SYRIA: My Published Articles From and on Syria (2014-2023)

Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of "Revolution", Jul 8, 2014, Inter Press Services, In Gaza

The Terrorism We Support in Syria: A First-hand Account of the Use of Mortars against Civilians, Sep 11, 2014, Zero Anthropology, In Gaza

Interview With The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son, June 9, 2017, MintPress News, (In Gaza)

Syria War Diary: What Life Is Like Under 'Moderate Rebel' Rule, eastern Aleppo, Aug 23, 2017, Mint Press News, (translated into Italian), In Gaza

Syria War Diary: Order Returns To Madaya & al-Waer, Civilians Recount Horrors Of "Rebel" Rule, September 26th, 2017, Mint Press News, In Gaza

Torture, starvation, executions: Eastern Ghouta civilians talk of life under terrorist rule, June 10, 2018, RT.com, (In Gaza)

In Gaza
Mon, 11 Mar 2024 16:52:35 +0000

2. Israel is now killing Palestinians in Gaza by starvation–media downplaying this are complicit in these preventable deaths.


Mainstream Western journalists are just as guilty as the henchmen who did this. #GazaHolocaust pic.twitter.com/W0WlFl4ADK

— Seyed Mohammad Marandi (@s_m_marandi) March 11, 2024

March 10, 2024, RT.com

*(blog title updated from original published; blog version slightly longer)

-Eva Karene Bartlett

Following the February 29 Israeli slaughter of at least 115 starving Palestinians lined up for food aid, there was little or no outrage by the same Western media which would have howled if the perpetrator were Russia or Syria.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, early morning on Thursday, February 29, Israeli forces opened fire on unarmed Palestinians waiting just southwest of Gaza City for desperately needed food aid. As a result, at least 115 civilians were killed and over 750 wounded.

Popular US commenter Judge Andrew Napolitano said in a recent interview with award-winning analyst Professor Jeffery Sachs, "Innocent Gaza civilians were lined up to receive flour and water from an aid truck, and more than 100 were slaughtered, mowed down, by Israeli troops. This has got to be one of the most reprehensible and public slaughterings that they've engaged in."

The official Israeli version of events, unsurprisingly, puts the blame on the Palestinians themselves. The deaths and injuries were supposedly caused by a stampede, and the Israeli soldiers only fired when they felt they were endangered by the crowd. The BBC even cited one army lieutenant as saying that troops had "cautiously [tried] to disperse the mob with a few warning shots." Mark Regev, a special adviser to the Israeli prime minister, went as far as to tell CNN that Israeli troops had not been involved directly in any way and that the gunfire had come from "Palestinian armed groups."

Testimonies from survivors and doctors tell a different story, though, saying the majority of those treated after the incident had been shot by Israeli forces. Legacy media reports, however, use characteristically neutral wording when evidence starts to stack up against Israel. "112 dead in chaotic scenes as Israeli troops open fire near aid trucks, say Gaza officials," a Guardian headline reads. Palestinians always seem to just "die," not get killed, and Israeli troops seem to have just "opened fire" nearby. The skewed wording conventions persist even despite the attribution to Palestinian officials present in that same headline – officials like the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, which was quite clear in accusing Israel of perpetrating a "massacre" as part of a "genocidal war."

"Chaos" and "die" in the headline. Israel's denial (lies) in the sub-heading. A lesson in how to both report on and deny a cold-blooded massacre simultaneously: https://t.co/rzWeLX0Mrt

— Louis Allday (@Louis_Allday) March 1, 2024

The article does eventually cite the acting Director of al-Awda hospital as saying most of the 161 casualties treated appeared to have been shot. The confusing headline was likely intentional, counting on most people not bothering to read the article in full.

In a report published on March 3, Euro-Med stated members of its field team were present at the time of the incident and "documented Israeli tanks firing heavily towards Palestinian civilians while trying to receive humanitarian aid." The report goes on to cite Dr Jadallah Al-Shafi'i, head of nursing at Shifa, Gaza's main hospital, saying, "paramedics and rescue workers were among the victims," and that at Shifa "they observed dozens of dead and injured, hit by Israeli gunfire."

The report also cites Dr Amjad Aliwa, an emergency specialist at Shifa who was also on site when Israel opened fire. According to Aliwa, the Israeli fire began, "as soon as the trucks arrived on Thursday at 4 am"

But the February 29 massacre, tragic as it is, is only a part of the current stage of Israel's war on Gaza: the deliberate starvation of Palestinians. And like the massacre itself, the whole issue is being subjected to the hands-off wording treatment by establishment media.

Fadi Al-Zalat, a six-year-old Palestinian child, is currently battling malnutrition and dehydration at Kamal Adwan Hospital, a consequence of the Israeli blockade in northern Gaza. pic.twitter.com/PGL0psGDsi

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) March 11, 2024

On February 29, the New York Times published an article whose headline, "Starvation Is Stalking Gaza's Children," suggests starvation is a mysterious malicious force with a will of its own, skirting the mention of the Israeli siege as its obvious cause.

Again, as with the Guardian article, a few paragraphs in, the NYT piece does state that the "hunger is a man-made catastrophe," describing how Israeli forces prevent food delivery and how Israeli bombardments make aid distribution dangerous.

It mentions the hunger, "is caused but also partly hidden by a pitiless war that has obliterated hospitals, flooded morgues and damaged communication networks, leaving us to cobble together what's happening from scraps of information."

The pitiless Israeli war on Gaza has been documented live since October 7. Cobbling scraps of information is not necessary; Israel's destruction of Gaza has been done with the whole world watching.

As Professor Sachs stated, "…Israel has deliberately starved the people of Gaza. Starved! I'm not using an exaggeration, I'm talking literally starving a population. Israel is a criminal, is in non-stop, war crime, status now. I believe in genocidal status."

Anyone who's been paying attention knows that the February 29 massacre was not the first such incident, and likely not the last. A thread on Twitter/X outlines this, noting, "Before yesterday's "Flour Massacre", the IDF has been shooting indiscriminately for WEEKS at starved Gazans awaiting aid trucks at the exact same spot, virtually every single day!"

Before yesterday's "Flour Massacre", the IDF has been shooting indiscriminately for WEEKS at starved Gazans awaiting aid trucks at the exact same spot, virtually every single day!

A 🧵of some of these incidents:

Feb 28: IDF soldiers take potshots at famished desperate Gazans pic.twitter.com/8dOztIzvdk

— Muhammad Shehada (@muhammadshehad2) March 1, 2024

The thread (warning: graphic images!), compiled by Gazan analyst and Euro-Med chief of communications Muhammad Shehada, gives examples of Israeli soldiers firing on Palestinians every single day in the week prior to February 29.

The final post in the thread, referencing February 18, shows a Palestinian man splayed on the ground, "shot in the head by the IDF at the Rasheed street as he came looking for food."

You can bet that, were these Syrian or Russian soldiers firing on starving civilians, the outrage would be front page, 24/7, for weeks. Scratch that, they wouldn't even have to do it – just a hint of an accusation would have been enough to get the presses going.

Starvation in Syria was a media trope

The NYT article mentioned above notes that "Reports of death by starvation are difficult to verify from a distance." But 'verifying from a distance' is precisely what the NYT and other Western media did repeatedly in Syria over the years.

In areas occupied by (then) al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Islam, and the other extremist terrorist gangs which the West and corporate media dubbed "rebels," food aid was always taken by the respective terrorists and withheld from the civilian population, causing starvation in some districts. Madaya, to the west of Damascus, eastern Aleppo, and later eastern Ghouta were districts most loudly campaigned over in legacy media, providing covering fire for the broader US-led campaign to overthrow the Syria government.

Palestinians are starving to death, preventable starvation orchestrated by the genocidal Israeli regime & enabled by the majority of Western states.

Western media was outraged over starvation in Madaya, which media blamed on the Syrian government…https://t.co/K0VNG40xUP https://t.co/epKQhfi667

— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) January 26, 2024

Backing the claims that the government was starving civilians were mostly "unnamed activists" or activists whose allegiance to Nusra, or even ISIS, was very overt.

As I would see and hear whenever one of these regions was liberated, ample food and medicine had been sent in, but civilians never saw it. Time and again, in eastern Aleppo, Madaya, al-Waer, eastern Ghouta, to name key areas, civilians complained that terrorist factions hoarded food and medicine, and if they sold it to the population, it was at extortionist prices people couldn't afford.

In the old city of Homs in 2014, back then dubbed by legacy media as the "capital of the revolution," starved residents I met told me the West's precious "rebels" had stolen every morsel of food from them, stealing anything of value as well.

Yet, media headlines about these regions screamed about starvation, outright blaming the Syrian government, and were accompanied by disturbing images of emaciated civilians (some of which were not even from Syria) meant to evoke strong emotions among readers and viewers. The same media largely opts not to show you gaunt, starving, Palestinians in Gaza.

(it wasn't the government which caused the starvation, the govt sent aid into Madaya, it was the West's terrorists within Madaya who hoarded food).

Media were SO outraged..& used photos from places outside of Syria to claim it was in Madaya.https://t.co/GMnh6pDjB0

— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) January 26, 2024

Tellingly, Syrian towns surrounded by terrorist forces, besieged, bombed, sniped and starved, got virtually no media coverage. It didn't fit NATO's narrative of "rebels"=good, Assad=bad.

But in Gaza the world watches in real time as Palestinians die from the ongoing, preventable, starvation.

*Source

Open the borders

Some days ago, the CEO of Medical aid for Palestinians, Melanie Ward, in an interview with CNN, named Israel as the cause of starvation in Gaza.

"It's very simple: it's because the Israeli military won't let it in. We could end this starvation tomorrow very simply if they would just let us have access to people there. But it's not being allowed. This is what they said [on October 9], 'Nothing will go in'," Ward said.

"This is the fastest decline in a population's nutrition status ever recorded. That means children are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen."@melanie_ward speaks with @IsaCNN about the catastrophic levels of hunger that Israel's blockade is causing in Gaza pic.twitter.com/FthwccFEBG

— Medical Aid for Palestinians (@MedicalAidPal) February 29, 2024

She described the starvation as "the fastest decline in a population's nutrition status ever recorded. What that means is that children are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen. And we could finish it tomorrow, we could save them all. But we're not being able to."

This is echoed by UNICEF. The press-release for its February 2024 report notes that 15.6 % (one in six children) under two years of age are "acutely malnourished" in Gaza's north. "Of these, almost 3% suffer from severe wasting, the most life-threatening form of malnutrition, which puts young children at highest risk of medical complications and death unless they receive urgent treatment," UNICEF notes.

Even worse, "since the data were collected in January, the situation is likely to be even graver today," UNICEF warns, likewise noting the rapid increase of malnutrition is "dangerous and entirely preventable."

Professor Sachs made an important point: "This will stop when the United States stops providing the munitions to Israel. It will not stop by any self control in Israel, there is none…They believe in ethnic cleansing or worse. And it is the United States which is the sole support…that is not stopping this slaughter."

Air-dropping paltry amounts of food aid into Gaza is not the answer. It both legitimizes Israel's deliberate starvation of Gaza and also makes those Palestinians who run toward the aid sitting ducks for the Israeli army to maim or kill. The only solution is to immediately open the borders and allow in the hundreds of aid trucks parked in Egypt. And end the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

The Gaza Ministry of Health reports that the death toll of the Israeli aggression has reached 31,045, with 72,654 injuries since October 7 last year. pic.twitter.com/JXDIDEtha5

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) March 10, 2024

Related Links

Unethical, hypocritical and cruel: Western aid cut will cause more pain for starving Gaza civilians

Reporters without shame: Top 'media rights' organization ignores rampant killings of Gaza journalists

Observations from Occupied Palestine: Gaza (My 2014 overview of my 3 years in Gaza: Israel's 2009 war & 2012 war on Gaza, Israel's brutal siege on Gaza, wars on Gaza, assault of farmers & fishers…)

Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of "Revolution"

Voices from Syria's Rukban Refugee Camp Belie Corporate Media Reporting

Untold Suffering in Foua and Kafraya: Two Northwestern Syrian Villages Under Siege and Assault by NATO's Terrorists

I documented two Israeli wars on Gaza. This current one is the worst

Interviewed on Scott Ritter's Ask the Inspector, October 24, 2023.

My 2007 West Bank writings

Observations from Occupied Palestine, part 1 (My overview of what I witnessed in 8 months in the West Bank)

In Gaza
Sat, 02 Mar 2024 14:45:59 +0000

3. Follow My Telegram Channel For Updates


In recent years, I've been more active on my Telegram channel, mainly because I don't face the censorship or the idiotic "community standards" of big tech. While my Twitter / X followers continue to grow, I routinely have people telling me they never see my posts or thought I'd left the platform altogether (good idea).

Given that I do everything myself, I've chosen to direct my energies to Telegram.

When I set anything new up, I'll update here.

Thank you to those who follow and support me.

In Gaza
Sat, 24 Feb 2024 10:24:25 +0000

4. Unethical, hypocritical and cruel: Western aid cut will cause more pain for starving Gaza civilians


In just over four months in #Gaza, there have been more #children, more journalists, more medical personnel, and more @UN staff killed than anywhere in the world during a conflict.

It is with profound regret that I must now inform you that @UNRWA has reached a breaking point,… pic.twitter.com/JbQVk72avu

— Philippe Lazzarini (@UNLazzarini) February 22, 2024

Feb 8, 2024, RT.com

-Eva K Bartlett

**Note: original article was published ~ 2 weeks ago. I didn't have access to my site to publish here until now. Below article will be updated for latest information. Blog version longer than originally published**

After more than four months of a bombing campaign that has killed nearly 30,000 (over 27,000) people in Gaza, Israel's recent accusations that UNRWA employees were involved in Hamas' October 7 insurgency led many Western nations to immediately cut critically needed funding.

This means the most vulnerable Palestinians—over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, starving and in desperate need of health care and shelter—will go without UNRWA support when the current funding dries up. According to UNRWA, this could be by the end of February, and, "not only in Gaza but also across the region." The UNRWA also supports Palestine Refugees in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

BREAKING| UNRWA stated that it would not be able to meet the humanitarian needs of over 2 million people in Gaza due to the decision of 16 donor countries to stop financial support to the agency.

"It's difficult to imagine that Gazans will survive this crisis without UNRWA," the… pic.twitter.com/l4Q5Z4jpYL

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) February 1, 2024

Not coincidentally, the Israeli claims against 12 of UNRWA's 13,000 Gaza employees came immediately after the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s ruling on South Africa's genocide case against Israel. While the ICJ did not demand a halt to Israel's relentless bombing throughout Gaza (including the so-called "safe" regions) and firing on Palestinians lining up for food aid, it did order Israel to not commit genocide (which many, self included, would say Israel has already been doing).

Yesterday, the ICJ made it clear that it had trust in UNRWA sources.

Immediately, Israel attacked the credibility of those employed by the agency, and now both the US and UK have cut funding to it.

— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) January 27, 2024

Under the ruling, Israel is to, "take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip". 

The body in place to do this is UNRWA, but Israel wants to ensure it cannot operate.

Deflecting from the ICJ spotlight (and any media focus on genocide), Israel did the opposite of taking measures to address starvation in Gaza: it caused UNRWA to lose its major funding. UNRWA supports Palestinian refugees' most basic needs, including notably food aid and healthcare, both urgently needed for Palestinians bombed continuously since October, without drinking water, without food, undergoing mass (preventable) starvation.

Additionally, many of the Palestinians requiring surgery or amputations due to injuries have undergone these procedures without anesthesiaand in dank conditions causing further illness and disease. After Israel bombed nearly all of Gaza's hospitals and attacked medical personal and ambulances, all following a continuously-tightened 16-year-long blockade of Gaza, healthcare is all the more urgently needed in Gaza.

It's almost as if you cannot believe it – but ISrael has killed 374 healthcare workers in 3 months. @HCWWatch This in addition to the bombing and strangulation of hospitals and primary care clinics in Gaza. All with full US support.
Clear war crimes!
Dr. Mads pic.twitter.com/MfkBoeVg8U

— Dr. Mads Gilbert (@DrMadsGilbert) January 3, 2024

At the end of January, 20 aid organizations issued a joint statement of outrage and concern over the cuts to UNRWA, noting it will, "impact life-saving assistance for over two million civilians, over half of whom are children…The population faces starvation, looming famine and an outbreak of disease under Israel's continued indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate deprivation of aid in Gaza."

The statement noted that 145 UNRWA facilities have been damaged by Israeli bombing. Many of these facilities are schools in which displaced Palestinians were sheltering. By this point, the Israeli attacks on such schools have been numerous, killing Palestinians who fled bombing elsewhere only to be murdered in what they thought might be off-limits to Israel—a UN school.

But as we've seen in previous Israeli bombardments, including during one of the two Israeli wars on Gaza which I documented, Israel routinely targets such schools housing displaced Palestinian civilians.

Like clockwork, overnight Israel bombed a UN school packed with displaced Palestinians in Al-Rimal neighbourhood in Gaza and killed 10 people.
All the incitement against the UNRWA, and the West's approval, is a license to commit war crimes and massacre more Palestinian families

— Tameem | تميم (@TameeOliveFern) January 29, 2024

Up to 1.7 million displaced Palestinians are taking shelter,"in or around 154 UNRWA shelters," the statement noted. "The countries suspending funds risk further depriving Palestinians in the region of essential food, water, medical assistance and supplies, education, and protection," it added.

Where's the evidence?

According to Israel, its claims that UNRWA workers were complicit in Hamas attacks are based on intelligence data. However, while a summary of the allegations was shared with media, the intelligence in question was never shown to the media, the public, or apparently even to Western officials.

As mentioned earlier, it isn't coincidental that Israel sprung the accusations immediately after the ICJ ruling. But what some may not know is that even back in December, The Times of Israel reported that, Israel is hoping to push UNRWA out of the Gaza Strip post-war. The original source was a "high-level, classified Foreign Ministry report."

The recommended plan apparently begins with "a comprehensive report on alleged UNRWA cooperation with Hamas." This would be followed by replacing the UNRWA and transferring its responsibilities to "the body governing Gaza following the war." It would seem that Israel has now started enacting this plan… after creating the conditions for mass starvation in Gaza.

And we're still debating whether Israel is genociding Gaza, instead of doing everything possible to stop Israel's bloodbath and at least provide food, water and shelter to Palestinians in Gaza?

But in Gaza we have documentation real time of Palestinians starving, after Israel repeatedly prevented aid distribution, fired on Palestinians gathering for the meagre food aid there is, & the rest of Israel's depraved, anti-human, policies to create the crisis in Gaza.

— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) January 26, 2024

Israel's punitive claims against UNRWA are even the more sadistic given many reports in Israeli media attribute significant amounts of the deaths on October 7 to the Israeli army itself, not Hamas.

Haaretz ran separate articles attacking me as a "conspiracist" and "master manipulator" for bringing October 7 friendly fire orders to light

Now, they finally concede "we need to talk about" the many Israelis killed by Israeli tanks and helicopters

Will US media wake up too? https://t.co/fW84HwyVCG

— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 14, 2023

Countries that cut support had no qualms supporting actual terrorism elsewhere

By cutting off humanitarian aid to Palestinians on the very day that the ICJ ruled it to be plausible that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, @JustinTrudeau proved himself to be a depraved and heartless man. He is unfit to lead Canada or any country.#Gaza #cdnpoli #genocide pic.twitter.com/6l9qIE7jT2

— Dimitri Lascaris (@dimitrilascaris) February 1, 2024

Cutting funding to an agency providing desperately needed life basics to a population under siege is not only unethical – it also goes against UN convention and is inconsistent with the ICJ ruling (albeit the latter only applies to Israel).

American human rights lawyer and professor of international law, Francis Boyle, made this point recently, stating: "For the governments who did this, they are now in violation of article 2(c) of the Genocide Convention: 'Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.'"

Francis Boyle states that with States (including US and UK govs) cutting off funding to UNRWA, it is "no longer the case of these States aiding and abetting Israeli Genocide against the Palestinians in violation of Genocide Convention article 3 (e) criminalizing 'complicity' in…

— Sam Husseini (@samhusseini) January 27, 2024

Boyle also made the point that the US and the UK, among other Western countries have been, "aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinians," and that the US is, "in violation of its own genocide convention implementation act."

Let's recall that the same Western nations (the US, UK, and Canada) that so hastily cut aid to the UNRWA were happy to fund the White Helmets in Syria, in spite of the abundance of evidence of their participation in crimes against Syrian civilians, as well as of the links that many of them had with Al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups. Their backers wrote this off as "a few bad apples," but don't apply the same logic to the 13 Palestinian UNRWA employees (out of 13,000) in Gaza whom Israel condemns.

"Given that the Palestinians' legal and moral right to pursue armed resistance is clear, endorsement of this position should be uncontroversial and commonplace among supporters of their cause." https://t.co/vegIksdb1l https://t.co/CVWQXN1VWA

— Louis Allday (@Louis_Allday) February 22, 2024

As Israel slaughters and starves Palestinians, the West and its lapdog media do what they do best: whitewash Israel's crimes and punish the victims.

RELATED LINKS:

Here's why you shouldn't trust the 'declining' Gaza death toll narrative

Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets' criminal activities, media yawns

In Gaza
Thu, 18 Jan 2024 09:47:22 +0000

5. “Gutsy Women: Eva Bartlett” (Interview on UK Column)


Jan 2, 2024, UK Column

Interview I did on UK Column, with Brian Gerrish. Listen to the interview here.

My Telegram post has related links & description.

In Gaza
Tue, 09 Jan 2024 08:30:07 +0000

6. Reporters without shame: Top ‘media rights’ organization ignores rampant killings of Gaza journalists


Jan 7, 2024, RT.com

-Eva K Bartlett

At the end of 2023, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontieres, RSF), the international organization ostensibly advocating for freedom of information, released its annual report. The paper massively downplays the widespread and deliberate targeting of Palestinian journalists in the Israel-Gaza war.

The report's announcement, titled, "Round-up: 45 journalists killed in the line of duty worldwide – a drop despite the tragedy in Gaza," excludes most of the Palestinian journalists killed by Israel in 2023, particularly in the past few months. It claims 16 fewer journalists were killed worldwide in 2023 than in 2022. This doesn't reflect reality.

UN Secretary-General: In Gaza, more children, more journalists, more UN aid workers killed than anywhere else in the world! pic.twitter.com/2kH8tNz8OF

— Ambassador Majed Bamya 🇵🇸 (@majedbamya) November 7, 2023

The report claims that (as of December 1, 2023), only 13 Palestinian journalists were killed while actively reporting, noting separately that 56 journalists were killed in Gaza, "if we include journalists killed in circumstances unproven to be related to their duties."

Other sources put the overall number of Palestinian journalists killed in the enclave much higher. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on December 1 that 73 journalists and media workers had been killed, citing to the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS).

While The Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ) December 20, 2023 numbers are lower (at least 61 Palestinian journalists killed since October 7), CPJ at least didn't disregard dozens of slain Palestinian journalists like RSF did.

In fact, in contrast to RSF's cheerful "things are much better for journalists than previous years" tone, CPJ emphasized that in the first 10 weeks of Israel's war on Gaza, "more journalists have been killed than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year." It voiced its concern about, "an apparent pattern of targeting of journalists and their families by the Israeli military."

That summary is far more honest, and shocking, than the watered-down RSF report.

I hope western journalists look into his eyes and watch this well.

It has even been translated for you.pic.twitter.com/rh3pOpdnPu

— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) January 8, 2024

It isn't clear how RSF discerns which circumstances were "unproven to be related" to the duties of slain Gazan journalists, nor who is "actively reporting" when Gaza is under relentless Israeli bombardment and suffers frequent internet cuts. In fact, given the nonstop Israeli bombing (and sniping) throughout the Strip, it would be nearly impossible to discern whether journalists were reporting (including from their homes) at the time of their death.

However, in the methodology section near the end of its more detailed report, RSF notes it "logs a journalist's death in its press freedom barometer when they are killed in the exercise of their duties or in connection with their status as a journalist."

Many Palestinian journalists in Gaza have received death threats from officers in the Israeli army precisely due to their status as journalists. And many of those threatened have subsequently been killed, along with family members, when Israeli airstrikes targeted their homes or places of shelter.

We also have the precedent in prior wars (in 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021) of Israel bombing Gazan media buildings (including one I was in in 2009) with varying severity, damaging and finally destroying two major media buildings in 2021. This is clearly intended to stop the flow of reports from Gaza under Israeli bombs, and so is the killing of journalists.

On December 15, the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate criticized the RSF report, going as far as accusing RSF of complicity with Israel's war crimes against Palestinian journalists through whitewashing.

This is the same PJS whose statistics the UN's OCHA cites, statistics which PJS says are "accurate and based on professional and legal documentation that follows the highest standards in documenting crimes against journalists." This documentation includes journalists who Israeli airstrikes targeted in their homes, killed precisely because they are journalists.

In response, RSF claimed it, "did not yet have sufficient evidence or indications," to state that any more than 14 journalists in the Gaza Strip (as of December 23, the date of its response) "had been killed in the course of their work or because of it."

RSF called the PJS accusations "inane," complaining that they "damage our organisation's image," and chastised the PSJ to not "impugn our motives," or "quarrel" over numbers. "Quarreling over numbers" is a pretty cavalier objection from an organization espousing concern over journalists being targeted.

At least three journalists were shot dead, at least three killed by an Israeli airstrike on media outlets in central Gaza City, and many more were killed by Israeli airstrikes on "safe" areas – areas south of Wadi Gaza, which Israel had commanded civilians to flee to for their "safety." In spite of this command, Israeli bombings continued all over the strip, including all the way south to Rafah.

Still many more – in Gaza City, as well as to the north and to the south of it – were killed at home with their families, including one journalist in Khan Younis, killed along with 11 members of his family when an Israeli airstrike targeted his home on November 2. On November 23, a journalist was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his home in Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, along with 20 family members.

The Cradle reported that, "The Israeli army sent a letter to legacy news outlets, Reuters and AFP." The letter said, "The [Israeli Army] is targeting all Hamas military activity throughout Gaza. Under these circumstances, we cannot guarantee your employees' safety."

One Israeli bombing of a journalist's home on November 7 killed him and 42 family members. Like many of his slain colleagues, he was a journalist for Palestinian Authority-run Wafa news. Many of the other murdered journalists worked for: Palestinian Authority-run Palestine TV, independent news agencies, local TV and radio programs, and larger outlets like al Jazeera. Others worked with Hamas-affiliated media and radio. Still others were freelancers.

On November 5, PJS reported that at least 20 of the journalists killed (since October 7) "were intentionally targeted by strikes on their homes or during their work covering Israel's attacks." This tally is already greater than RSF's reported total of 13 journalists killed at work or because of their work, even though the RSF report covers a period of almost a month more.

Israel threatens journalists, kills family members

Many Gaza journalists report being threatened by the Israeli army. CPJ noted it is "deeply alarmed by the pattern of journalists in Gaza reporting receiving threats, and subsequently, their family members being killed."

The majority of journalists have received direct threats over the last 10 weeks. Sari Mansour and Saeed Al-Taweel were subjected to incitement, receiving direct threats before being targeted.
Anas Al-Sharif received threats to his life relating to his work in northern Gaza.

— Anan Quzmar (@QuzmarAnan) December 22, 2023

One such incident followed a threat to Al-Jazeera Arabic reporter Anas Al-Sharif. CPJ noted he had received multiple phone calls from officers in the Israeli army instructing him to cease coverage and leave northern Gaza. Additionally, he received voice notes on WhatsApp disclosing his location. His 90-year-old father was killed on December 11 by an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Jabalia refugee camp.

On November 13, CPJ noted, "eight family members of photojournalist Yasser Qudih were killed when their house in southern Gaza was struck by four missiles. Qudih survived the attack."

On October 25, an Israel airstrike on the Nuseirat refugee camp in the center of Gaza killed the wife, son, daughter, and grandson of Al-Jazeera's bureau chief for Gaza, Wael Al Dahdouh.

Hossam Shabat threatened by Israeli occupation forces

Gazan journalist Hossam Shabat received an intimidating call from Israeli forces to stop documenting their actions in northern Gaza and to remove the material he had published online. pic.twitter.com/Q2AemkoFoQ

— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) December 27, 2023

The popular young independent journalist, Motaz Azaiza, reported receiving multiple threats from anonymous numbers urging him to cease his coverage, CPJ reported, noting that another Al-Jazeera correspondent, Youmna El-Sayed, said her husband received a threatening phone call from a man who identified himself as a member of the IDF and told the family "to leave or die."

PEGASUS: ISRAEL'S WAR ON JOURNALISTS

A new report from Amnesty International reveals a spike in the use of Israeli " Pegasus" spyware tools used by Israeli spyware companies to target journalists' privacy – including used to track and directly threaten the safety of journalists… pic.twitter.com/E50fxfc3XT

— Patrick Henningsen (@21WIRE) January 9, 2024
RSF bias: Not only in Palestine

Whereas RSF only reluctantly, as an afterthought, mentioned Palestinian journalists killed in "circumstances unproven to be related to their duties," in a 2021 report on Syria, it stated, "at least 300 professional and non-professional journalists have been killed while covering artillery bombardments and airstrikes or murdered by the various parties to the conflict," since 2011, going on to say, "this figure could in reality be even higher."

It cited a report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) claiming the number could be up to 700. While endorsing these numbers, the RSF also gave a caveat, albeit a much meeker one than the one about Gaza journalists: "Confirming such estimates is not currently possible because of the difficulty of accessing information."

Aside from reporting numbers it could not confirm, RSF cited a body in no way impartial or credible. As an investigative article noted, the SNHR is "based in Qatar… funded by foreign governments and staffed by top opposition leaders," and "has openly clamored for Western military intervention."

In 2017, Stephen Lendman wrote of RSF's attempt to shut down a panel sponsored by the Swiss Press Club in which British journalist Vanessa Beeley would be participating. "An organization that defends freedom of information is asking me to censor a press conference," the club's executive director Guy Mettan said at the time. He refused to cancel the event.

RSF's 2023 roundup also didn't include two Russian journalists killed this year, one by a Ukrainian cluster bomb strike and the other by a Ukrainian drone attack (targeting journalists).

Sputnik pursued the matter and reported that RSF, "refused to give any comments to Sputnik" citing "editorial policy."

Journalist Christelle Neant likewise noted RSF's glaring omission of the Russian journalists. She wrote about the body's funding from various governments, and more notably from regime change agencies: the Open Society foundation, The Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress.

RSF's notorious funders explain why it cherry picks or inflates its reports. The borderless organization has lines it won't cross. It reports a grain of truth but otherwise whitewashes the crimes of Israel and Washington.

Additional Notes:

On December 19, freelance journalist Adel Zorob was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his home in Rafah, southern Gaza, along with 25 family members.

On December 30, journalist Jabr Abu Hadrous ascended as a martyr with several of his family members after the IOF bombed his home in Nusseirat camp, central #Gaza, becoming the 106th journalist in Gaza to be martyred since October 7th.

On January 7, 2024, journalist Hamza Al Dahdouh (son of Al-Jazeera Gaza bureau chief Wael Al Dahdouh), was killed in an Israeli drone strike along with freelance journalist Mustafa Thuraya, according to Al-Jazeera Arabic. They were driving to an assignment in southern Gaza when the strike occurred.

All that remains for Al Jazeera Journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh in his family is his daughter.
Israel took the lives of his entire family after they killed his oldest son Hamza today.

Israel is a terrorist entity. pic.twitter.com/itOR8gJD42

— Marwa Osman || مروة عثمان (@Marwa__Osman) January 7, 2024

RELATED LINKS

 I lived through two Israel-Gaza wars. This one is the worst

Media Black-Out on Arab Journalists and Civilians Beheaded in Syria by Western-Backed Terrorists

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