Home NewsAsia Israeli aggression on press contravenes international law, says Pandor

Israeli aggression on press contravenes international law, says Pandor

by Zahid Jadwat

The press has come under increased attack since the latest war began. [Picture: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images]


Dr Naledi Pandor has accused Apartheid Israel of contravening international law by silencing the press. She said targeting journalists in the Palestinian territories was part of a wider pattern.

The minister of international relations spoke to students at the University of Johannesburg on Wednesday. She was a speaker at the annual Shireen Abu Akleh Memorial Lecture. 

“The targeting of journalists in the Occupied Territories is part of a pattern of silencing the free press and is an outright contravention of international law,” she said, just days before the world observes two years since Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed.

Pandor explained: “International human rights law obligates an occupying power to allow for freedom of expression and protest. The ability of journalists to cover events as they take place is essential. Efforts to intimidate and assassinate members of the media should not be allowed to continue with impunity.”


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Shireen Abu Akleh one of many fallen members of the press

Saturday, 12 May, will mark two years since the Al Jazeera journalist was killed while covering a raid in the Jenin refugee camp, Occupied West Bank.

An independent international commission of inquiry later found “reasonable grounds” to believe lethal force was used against her without justification.

Pandor lamented the fact that little progress had been made in holding those responsible to account. She added that, if anything, the job has become even riskier for Palestinian journalists since the war began in October.

“To date, no one has been held accountable for her death, despite the initial global outrage, there has been no reported progress in the investigation at the International Criminal Court and silence with regards to the other investigations.”

Since Israel began an intensive bombardment operation in the Gaza Strip, journalists have had to battle impediments to their coverage and risk their lives on the front line, while still having to take care of their families.

As of Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported, at least 97 journalists and media workers have been killed since 7 October. Of those killed, 92 were Palestinian, three were Lebanese and two Israeli. An additional 16 were injured, four were missing and 25 were arrested. 

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