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Webinar: The Silencing Act: Journalism in Palestine

When: Wednesday, 6 March 2024, 12 UTC

Register here:

Translation: Arabic and Spanish

In December, 7amleh, SMEX and APC organised a webinar to to commemorate Human Rights Day and discuss the ongoing violations affecting civil society organisations, the internet and communications infrastructure in Gaza and internet spaces in general. Its objective was to both understand key issues and identify possible action points, and also to create a space for listening and amplifying voices from the ground.

With the ongoing conflict, we consider that this space should be kept open for first-hand accounts of freedom of expression, association and digital rights violations targeting the Palestinian population. To this end, IFEX, 7amleh, the Palestine Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) and APC are co-organising a webinar next week on the theme of journalism and media.

The webinar’s objective is to highlight local voices and stories to inform the work and positions of our networks in relation to the conflict in Gaza and the human rights situation in Palestine, with a focus on freedom of expression. We also want to identify recommendations and solutions, identify ways in which members of our networks can work together to advocate for those recommendations, and channel the findings to key decision makers and stakeholders, including donors and international organisations.

Speakers will include Shireen Al-Khatib from the Palestine Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), Kholod Masalha from the Arab Center for Media Freedom Development Development and Research (I'lam), Shuruq Asad from the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS), and independent journalist Riham Abu Aita.

An urgent crisis

According to the UN, since 7 October over 125 journalists and media workers have been killed and injured in Gaza. Three journalists in Lebanon were killed from Israeli shelling near the border. Four Israeli journalists were killed by Hamas in the 7 October attacks. Dozens of Palestinian journalists have been detained by Israeli forces in both Gaza and in the West Bank where harassment, intimidation and attacks on journalists have increased. MADA has documented 80 violations committed by occupation forces during January 2024, most notably the killing of 14 journalists in the Gaza Strip. 7amleh’s recent report, Hashtag Palestine 2023, also highlights the increased repression of journalists, both online and offline. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also documented a list of casualties.

According to a Reuters report in October, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told Reuters and Agence France Press that it could not guarantee the safety of their journalists operating in the Gaza Strip, after they had sought assurances that their journalists would not be targeted by Israeli strikes. Journalists from outlets including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, RT Arabic and Al-Araby TV have reported obstructions to their reporting by the Israeli police, military and others since the conflict began.

Israel has refused to let media from outside Gaza enter and report unless they are embedded with Israeli forces. This has contributed to heavily biased international coverage of the conflict that has been characterised as “a textbook case of coloniser’s journalism.”

How do these attacks, arrests and censorship limit the knowledge of those outside Palestine about the real situation on the ground? How to ensure the safety of those bravely seeking to document and report? These are some of the questions we seek to discuss with invited speakers from Palestine, working with the media or in different initiatives seeking to generate news coverage amidst the genocide.

The webinar will be open to the public and you can register for it here:


Further resources: