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

Palestinian journalists covering Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza have been awarded the 2024 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. (Photo: via UNESCO)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

According to Gaza’s Government Media Office, 141 journalists have been killed since October 7, and more than 70 injured.

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

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

“I feel joy and pride, but it’s a joy mixed with a sadness for the loss of the martyrs of the Palestinian press,” said Nasser Abu Baker, the President of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate as he received the award on behalf of all Palestinian journalists.

“It is also mixed with determination and willingness to hold accountable and persecute the criminals who killed these constellations,” he added.

According to Gaza’s Government Media Office, 141 journalists have been killed since October 7, and more than 70 injured, due to Israel’s ongoing military assault on the Gaza Strip.

“In these times of darkness and hopelessness, we wish to share a strong message of solidarity and recognition to those Palestinian journalists who are covering this crisis in such dramatic circumstances,” Mauricio Weibel, chair of the International Jury of Media Professionals, said during the announcement on Thursday, the eve of World Press Freedom Day.

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‘Difficult Circumstances’

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

Israel continues to detain 53 journalists, 43 of whom were arrested after October 7, including 4 from Gaza who were subjected to “enforced disappearance,” according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

In a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day, the Gaza Government Media Office said: “We recall the forms of suffering experienced by the Palestinian journalist, and we remember those who have passed away as martyrs over the decades, these heroes who gave their lives so that truth might live, they are the candles in the darkness, and they are the martyrs of truthful words and responsible media.”

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The Media Office demanded from the international community “to protect Palestinian journalists and pressure the Israeli occupation to stop the genocide against them,” as well as all Palestinian people.

The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas in a statement, said “We confirm that the occupation’s crimes against journalists will not obscure the truth of its terrorism and aggression.”

The International Federation of Journalists and 38 other media freedom organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists in March called on the Media Freedom Coalition member states to take “meaningful action” for the safety of journalists in Gaza.

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ICC Probe

In January, the office of the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan, confirmed to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that “crimes against journalists” are included in its ongoing investigation into the situation in Palestine.

The office said the RSF that “crimes against journalists are being examined by the prosecutor’s office, among other potential crimes, as part of the ongoing investigation into the situation in Palestine, and RSF’s objectives and actions must be supported and are of crucial importance in Gaza and elsewhere.”

It added that “Journalists are protected by international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute and must not under any circumstances be targeted in the exercise of their important mission.”

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Rising Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,654 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,908 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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1 Comment

  1. If ever there was a well-deserved award, this is it. I salute the heroic Gazan journalists.You are heroes, all of you.

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