Journalists should be allowed in and out of Gaza, says Reporters Without Borders

Middle East  AFP - Jack Guez
DEC 7, 2023 LISTEN
© AFP - Jack Guez

French media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged Israeli and Egyptian authorities on Thursday to allow journalists to move freely across the Gaza Strip's southern border crossing into Egypt.

The Rafah crossing was shut after Israel declared war on Hamas in Gaza following the deadliest attack in its history on 7 October.

While it has intermittently opened in recent weeks, only people whose names were on approved lists have been allowed out.

In a statement, French media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called for the Rafah crossing to be opened "so that journalists can finally come and go on both sides of the border".

No entry
Palestinian journalists who, like other civilians in Gaza, have had to flee their homes in the north of the Gaza Strip "are now being told by Israel to assemble at the border with Egypt, with no possibility of crossing", RSF said.

"Conversely, international reporters are prevented from entering."

The Rafah crossing is controlled by Hamas and Egypt, though RSF says Israel monitors all activities at the southern border.

Gaza's only other official border crossing, which links the besieged territory to Israel, has also been shut.

"In two months of war, not a single reporter has been authorised to enter the Gaza Strip via Rafah, which clearly undermines the media's ability to cover the conflict," RSF said.

Israel also "bombed this border gate four times at the start of the war", it added.

58 journalists killed
According to RSF, 58 journalists have been killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes, 14 of them in the line of duty.

Israel launched its assault on Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, after the 7 October attacks killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities, and saw some 240 people taken hostage.

According to the Hamas government, the war has killed more than 16,000 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

(with AFP)