TEHRAN- The sole path of access to information on the atrocious crimes being committed in the entirely besieged Gaza Strip to the outside world is through the heroic role of local Palestinian journalists, risking their lives on the ground.

The question that has regularly sprung up in the Western world is that if the Israeli regime claims to be abiding by international law in its war on Gaza, why has it banned Western journalists from entering Gaza to ascertain Tel Aviv’s claims?

The Israeli occupation has already killed a record number of reporters and media crew in Gaza in the history of any war zone around the globe and is now embarking on a campaign to discredit their extremely difficult work.

Tel Aviv claims a few journalists have been linked to the armed wing of Hamas and even accused one reporter, which the Israeli army recently killed, of being a Hamas commander.

By trying to harm the reputation of a few Palestinian journalists, the regime is seeking to distort the reality on the ground, where the Israeli military has committed the most heinous of war crimes, which include the killing of at least 12,300 children and the orphaning of 17,000 others.

That number is expected to widely increase once the war is over and the bodies of the dead and missing are dug up from under the rubble.

Attempts to damage the reputation of Palestinian journalists is also another measure by the regime to kill more reporters on the ground inside Gaza in a bid to prevent further reports emerging to the outside world over the Israeli war crimes being committed, especially with a looming invasion of Rafah on the horizon.

According to the Gaza media office, nearly 130 journalists have been killed in the Israeli war on the coastal enclave since October 7, 2023.

What these professionals did was travel to the scene in the aftermath of Israeli airstrikes on residential buildings and broadcast (sometimes live) the pictures of women and children being pulled out of the rubble.

They are also documenting the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where the UN has warned a large portion of the population is facing famine as a result of the tight Israeli siege on the entry of food and water.

The same journalists also travel to the hospitals in Gaza, where the scenes of desperation have seen hundreds of thousands of protesters marching in the capital cities of the Western world on an almost weekly basis.

The reports of the Palestinian journalists make their way to Western media, which use some of their images to show the destruction in Gaza.

By attempting to blend a few reporters with Hamas, Tel Aviv is trying to cut that supply line, while distracting the Western audience with false allegations that the reports from Gaza are inaccurate.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) underlined that the number of media crew workers killed in the war on Gaza is unprecedented and at the end of 2023 said the number of reporters killed in Gaza (within 3 months) sharply surpassed the total number of reporters killed in all war zones around the world in 2022.

There does appear to be a similar pattern emerging by the regime of discrediting the entire journalistic profession by falsely accusing a few of ties to the armed wing of Hamas, which Israel has vowed to eliminate with the support of the West.

Only recently, Tel Aviv accused less than a dozen UNRWA members of ties to Hamas, prompting Western governments to halt funding to the sole international agency providing critical humanitarian aid to the starved population of Gaza.

There are 13,000 UNRWA workers. Its commissioner general Philippe Lazzarini admitted last week he sacked the nearly dozen workers without any evidence because the agency is facing “fierce and ugly” attacks but it must focus on resuming aid supplies.

Lazzarini did promise to compensate the staff fired if an internal probe confirms their innocence.
Yet, the regime successfully tainted UNRWA in the Western world and is now tainting the image of the journalists in Gaza as its own global image declines significantly.


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