The non-profit organization Reporters without Borders (RFS – Reporters sans frontières) called on the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate the deaths of 34 journalists who died during Israel’s war with Hamas. The organization accused both sides of the conflict of war crimes.
According to the AP, the RFS has already filed a lawsuit at the court in The Hague in connection with the killing of eight Palestinian journalists who lost their lives during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and one Israeli journalist who was killed in a brutal attack by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7.
Since 2018, Reporters Without Borders has filed a total of three complaints with The Hague regarding war crimes against Palestinian journalists in Gaza, Anadolu Agency wrote. At the same time, Israel often emphasizes that it is trying to prevent civilian casualties and accuses Hamas of using civilians as human shields.
The organization also draws attention to the deliberate destruction of more than 50 buildings used by media houses in Gaza.
Another organization defending the rights and freedoms of journalists – the Commission for the Safety of Journalists – has announced that it is investigating several cases of death, injury or detention of journalists in Gaza, Israel, and Lebanon during the ongoing conflict.
Reporters Without Borders reported a few days ago that a group of journalists from Reuters, AFP and Al Jazeera came under attack in southern Lebanon near the border with Israel, which left one member of the group dead and six others injured. According to available evidence, it was a targeted attack despite the fact that the journalists had clearly visible “PRESS” markings.
The commission is talking about at least 34 dead journalists so far. “The commission wants to emphasize that journalists are also civilians who do very important work during crises and wars. The warring parties must avoid attacking them,” Sherif Mansour, coordinator of the commission for the Middle East and North Africa, told AP.
The International Criminal Court is currently investigating both warring parties. Their actions have been under review since 2014. Current war crimes allegations will also be taken into account, according to investigators.
For example, representatives of the court are monitoring the current situation at the Rafah border crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border. They called on the Israeli government to respect international law, but called its actions not war crimes, but serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Israel resists court intervention in the conflict. He belittles its role by saying it is outside its jurisdiction because Palestine is not a sovereign state and Israel is not a member state of the court.