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  • Monday, December 4, 2023 at 1:46 PM
    Last Update : Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 9:26 AM

President of the Foreign Press Association: Gaza's Journalists Situation is "Tragic"

(AWP) - The President of the Foreign Press Association in Britain (FPA) described the situation of journalists in the Gaza Strip as "tragic" and called for more efforts to protect all journalists covering the conflict.

In an interview with AWP in London, Deborah Bonetti said that journalists’ presence in Gaza is vital to counter what she described as "misleading information" and "fake news" coming out of the Strip.

Bonetti said, "We’ve spent a year covering Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine which was very problematic for many journalists, but it pales in comparison to what is happening right now in Gaza. We have lost so many colleagues, including a member of the FPA here in London, who have lost their lives."

She pointed to the killing of scores of journalists in Gaza since the beginning of the war nearly two months ago, adding that what has happened is "unbelievable."

She continued, "I find it very difficult to find a way in which we can reach a solution that guarantees the safety of journalists. I know that Israel has said that it cannot guarantee anything if journalists are in the ‘wrong’ place. This is a conflict that has so far been about bombing each other, especially from Israel to the Gaza Strip."

Bonetti added, "It is very difficult for the international community to find a way that ensures the safety of journalists. But at the same time, we need journalists there to tell us the story – to show us what is actually going on, because there is so much misleading information, incorrect information and a lot of fake news as well. This is something that requires everybody thinking together and coming up with a plan."

With the resumption of Israeli airstrikes following the end of a seven-day truce last week, the Gaza Government Media Office said that the number of journalists killed while covering the war has reached 73.

Bonetti said, "The only practical advice that I feel can be offered is to stay away from places the journalist knows are going to be bombed – to stay away from anything that may be a target. Of course, this will affect the type of coverage that our colleagues provide, but having a journalist alive on the ground is more important than somebody who was following the best story in the world and then getting killed."