The NewsGuild-CWA, America’s largest union of journalists, strongly condemns the killing of journalists in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon and calls on all parties to ensure the safety of journalists in the region to work without threat or interference.
The union additionally condemns comments made on Thursday by Benny Gantz, a minister in the Israeli government and former defense minister, who compared journalists to “terrorists” in a post about Hamas’ October 7 massacre in Israel.
“Journalists found to have known about the massacre, and still chose to stand as idle bystanders while children were slaughtered – are no different than terrorists and should be treated as such,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Gantz and the Israeli government blamed four international media outlets — the New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press and Reuters — saying journalists in Gaza had advance knowledge of the attack by Hamas militants on October 7 that killed more than 1,400 people.
Reuters, The Times and AP – whose American-based journalists are represented by The NewsGuild-CWA – denied the allegations. CNN cut ties with a freelancer, according to the Daily Beast.
Journalism is not terrorism, and covering violence is not the same thing as condoning it. Journalists document tragedy as it unfolds and shine a light on a dark world. Our job is to seek truth and report it, especially during a war.
Since the war began in October, Palestinian journalists have been killed at a staggering rate of at least one a day, according to the Washington Post. At least 39 journalists and media workers were confirmed dead, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. They include 34 Palestinians, 4 Israelis and 1 Lebanese worker. Nearly all of the Palestinian journalists died from Israeli airstrikes, many in their homes with their families.
Last month Israel’s military told Reuters and Agence France Presse that it cannot guarantee the safety of journalists operating inside the Gaza Strip.
Article 79 of the Geneva Conventions is clear that “journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians” and “shall be protected as such under the Conventions.”