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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Journalists Injured In Attack On Gaza Refugee Camp

​​​​​​​Smoke billows following a strike in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza. Several journalists, including a CNN stringer, were injured in the attack on April 12

Reports from Gaza Strip say, several journalists, including a CNN stringer, have been injured in an attack on a refugee camp in central Gaza, amid mounting concerns about media workers being killed and injured while covering Israel’s military campaign.

Israeli tanks launched a “targeted attack” where several journalists were working at Nuseirat camp, including a cameraman and correspondent working for TRT Arabi, according to a statement by the Jerusalem bureau chief for Turkish state broadcaster TRT.

One journalist sustained wounds that left him in critical condition.

TRT cameraman Sami Shehada lost a leg, while the correspondent, Sami Barhoum, suffered minor injuries, the statement said.

“This incident, occurring amidst ongoing conflict coverage, highlights the severe risks journalists face in conflict zones.

“This deliberate attack against media professionals, marked clearly with “PRESS” on their jackets, is part of a broader pattern of violence that has claimed the lives of 140 journalists since the conflict began,” TRT’s statement added.

CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment on the attack and on allegations that journalists were targeted at the camp.

Footage filmed by CNN shows Shehada being brought into Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, in Deir al-Balah, in an ambulance with other journalists. His right leg is severed, as he lies on the floor, making labored breaths.

CNN stringer Mohammad Al-Sawalhi was also hit by shrapnel, slightly injuring his right hand and bruising his left leg, according to a hospital official.

“We were filming in a safe place, I was wearing my flak jacket and my helmet, even the car I was in had a PRESS and TV sign marked on it. It was clear that I was a civilian and a journalist. We were targeted,” Shehada told CNN from his operating bed.

“It will not stop me from working, even if I have to walk on crutches. I will show the whole world the crimes of the Israeli occupation against civilians, people and journalists. I am one of them and I will not leave my camera even if I die,” he continued, telling Al-Sawalhi to get well soon.

Video filmed by Al-Sawalhi showed people walking around the camp, pushing around donkey carts over rubble when artillery shelling targets the area. People, including children, women, and elderly, are then seen rushing to take cover inside shops, looking around cautiously for any sign of Israeli tanks before grabbing their belongings and running away in panic.

Read Also: World Court Issues Fresh Measures For Israel As Crisis Deepens In Gaza

Repeated artillery fire and gunshots can be heard in the near distance.

CNN spoke to an elderly man in his 70s, named Saleh, who was trying to flee the area after Israeli tanks surrounded the camp. He told CNN he was hit by shrapnel.

Moments later, Saleh could be seen in video crossing the street when intense artillery fire hit the road a few meters away from where Al-Sawalhi was filming, forcing him to back away and take cover.

Graphic footage of the aftermath showed the Saleh severely wounded with a bloody head injury. He was taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, in Deir al-Balah, where Al-Sawalhi also went to treat his wounds.

CNN footage shows a few other injured people brought into the hospital, including a number of journalists.

Israeli forces have ramped up attacks on Nuseirat camp, located north of Deir el-Balah, in recent days. An Israeli airstrike on a residential building in the camp killed 14 people on Tuesday evening, the spokesman of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, Dr. Khalil Al-Dikran, told CNN.

Israel’s military offensive in Gaza has been the deadliest period for journalists since the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) began gathering data in 1992. As of April 12, 2024, CPJ’s preliminary investigations showed at least 95 journalists and media workers” have been among those killed in the besieged enclave.

UN experts have warned that “targeted attacks and killings of journalists are war crimes,” adding that journalists have “come under attack” despite being “clearly identifiable in jackets and helmets marked ‘press.”

The nature of such attacks indicates that “killings, injury, and detention are a deliberate strategy by Israeli forces to obstruct the media and silence critical reporting,” the UN experts said in a statement in February. — CNN

Source: CNN via SG.

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