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Palestinian cameraman Sami Shahada lost his leg due to an Israeli attack. (Photo: video grab)

“Why do you want us to wear helmets? Is it for them to target us? Tell them to know their limits”.

A Palestinian cameraman who lost his right leg following an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip said on Friday that he will continue to practice journalism, despite his injuries, Anadolu news agency reported.

When asked if he would continue his work after the Israeli attack, Sami Shahada responded affirmatively, stating, “Yes, I will persist. Even with crutches, I will carry on with my responsibilities,” according to the report.

Addressing the international community, Shahada questioned the necessity of journalists wearing protective gear such as bulletproof vests and helmets, expressing concern that it might make them targets. 

“Why do you want us to wear helmets? Is it for them to target us? Tell them to know their limits,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, a team from TRT Arabic came under attack by the Israeli army while preparing for a broadcast in the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza. 

Shahada, who was working as an independent cameraman, sustained serious injuries and underwent surgery, while TRT Arabic reporter Sami Berhum escaped unharmed.

Meaningful Action Required

The International Federation of Journalists and 38 more media freedom organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists called last month on the Media Freedom Coalition member states to take “meaningful action” for the safety of journalists in Gaza.

According to the statement, the situation in Gaza “requires action from your member states to consistently and publicly call for the treatment of Palestinian journalists, who continue to report from Gaza in spite of the risks.”

The statement also called for “the immediate and unfettered access of international journalists to Gaza”.

The organizations criticized the “collective official silence of the (Media Freedom Coalition) member states” regarding the killings of journalists in Gaza, warning that it significantly undermines their capacity to advocate for media freedom on a global scale.

“The collective official silence of the MFC member states as a group regarding these killings, with increasing evidence of journalists being specifically targeted (..) seriously diminishes our collective ability to credibly stand up for media freedom globally,” said the statement.

Calling them “our eyes and ears” on the ground, the statement added that journalists in Gaza are confronted with grave threats to their safety and require immediate assistance and solidarity.

“Finally, the growing evidence of targeted killings of journalists in this war requires a clear and joint call for prompt, independent, effective and thorough investigations into these killings,” said the statement.

Staggering Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,686 Palestinians have been killed, and 76,309 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

 Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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