‘Deliberately Killed’ – RSF Files Third Request to ICC Over Journalists’ Killings in Gaza 

The funeral of two Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli forces in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has filed its third complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) about Israeli war crimes against journalists.

The complaint, submitted on May 24, requests the prosecutor, Karim Khan, to investigate crimes against at least nine Palestinian reporters between December  15 and May 20, as well as, more broadly, “the more than 100 journalists” that Israeli military “have killed since 7 October in Gaza,” RSF said in a statement.

The submission comes just days after Khan issued his first requests for arrest warrants in connection with the Gaza conflict, and requested the prosecutor “to comply with article 15 of the ICC’s Rome Statute by prioritising the investigation” into the Israeli military’s “crimes against journalists in Gaza since 7 October.”

The complaint, which follows those filed on October 31 and December 22, details eight new cases of Palestinian journalists killed between December 20 and May 20, as well as the case of a journalist who was injured, said RSF.

“All concerned journalists were killed (or injured) in the course of their work. RSF has reasonable grounds for thinking that some of these journalists were deliberately killed and that the others were the victims of deliberate IDF (PC – Israeli forces) attacks against civilians,” the organization said.

ICC Confirms Probe into Israel’s Killing of Journalists – Reporters Without Borders

‘Impunity Endangers Journalists’

RSF’s advocacy and assistance director, Antoine Bernard said that “impunity endangers journalists not only in Palestine but also throughout the world.”

Bernard added: “Those who kill journalists are attacking the public’s right to information, which is even more essential in times of conflict. They must be held accountable, and RSF will continue to work to this end, in solidarity with Gaza’s reporters.”

In January, the ICC prosecutor’s office informed RSF that for the first time “crimes against journalists” were included in its investigation into Palestine.

As well as submitting the nine cases, RSF has reiterated its request for the prosecutor to investigate the deaths of all of the journalists killed by the Israeli military in Gaza since October 7.

List of Journalists

RSF said the journalists named in this complaint include Mustapha Thuraya and Hamza al-Dahdouh, two freelance reporters who were working for Al-Jazeera in Rafah when they were killed by a targeted Israeli drone attack on their vehicle on January 7.

Hazem Rajab, a third journalist who was injured in this attack, is included in the complaint.

The Israeli military issued a statement on January 10 “claiming that an Israeli aircraft ‘directed by troops targeted the operators of a drone, posing a threat to our soldiers,’ referring to a drone used by Thuraya,” said RSF.

Video footage recorded by Thuraya’s drone, the organization emphasized, that was “published by the Washington Post nonetheless indicated only journalistic use and nothing of a military nature.”

‘The Price of Truth’ – UNESCO Awards Palestinian Journalists the World Press Freedom Prize 

The complaint also cited the cases of:

  •  Hadaf News website reporter Ahmed Badir, who was killed by an airstrike at the entrance to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah on January 10;
  • Kan’an News Agency correspondent Yasser Mamdouh, who was killed near Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis on February 11;
  • Ayat Khadoura, an independent video blogger killed by an Israeli strike on his home on November 20 shortly after posting a video;
  • Yazan Emad Al-Zwaidi, a cameraman with the Egyptian satellite TV news channel Al Ghad, who was killed on January 14 when an Israeli strike hit the group of civilians he was with in Beit Hanoun;
  • Ahmed Fatima, a journalist with the Al Qahera News TV channel, who was killed during a bombardment in Khan Yunis on November 13;
  • Rami Bdeir, a reporter for the Palestinian New Press media outlet, who was killed during an Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis on 15 December.

RSF noted that Resolution 2222, the UN Security Council resolution on protecting journalists in wartime that was adopted exactly nine years ago, on May 27, 2015, “stresses the importance of prosecuting and punishing war crimes against journalists.”


Earlier this month, Palestinian journalists covering Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza were awarded the 2024 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, following the recommendation of an international jury of media professionals.

UNESCO Honors Gaza Journalists – On How Israel Inadvertently Empowered Palestinian Media

The announcement received a standing ovation at the World Press Freedom Conference in Santiago, Chile.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, said the prize “pays tribute to the courage of journalists facing difficult and dangerous circumstances.”

“If it wasn’t for the brave journalists of Gaza, the world would not know what it does today, and for simply doing their job many have paid the ultimate price. They have provided the model for what real journalism truly looks like,” writes The Palestine Chronicle’s Robert Inlakesh.

In March, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it was “investigating all reports of journalists and media workers killed, injured, or missing in the war, which has led to the deadliest period for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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