Journalists should be allowed in and out of Gaza: RSF

AFP , Thursday 7 Dec 2023

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged Israeli and Egyptian authorities on Thursday to allow journalists to move freely across the Gaza Strip's southern border crossing into Egypt.

Gaza Journalism
File photo: An AFPTV cameraman films Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. AFP


The Rafah crossing was shut after the outbreak of Israel's war on the strip on 7 October.

While it has intermittently opened in recent weeks, only people whose names were on approved lists have been allowed out.

In a statement, RSF called for the Rafah crossing to be opened "so that journalists can finally come and go on both sides of the border".

Palestinian journalists who, like other civilians in Gaza, have had to flee their homes in the north of the Gaza Strip "are now being told by Israel to assemble at the border with Egypt, with no possibility of crossing", RSF said.

"Conversely, international reporters are prevented from entering."

The Rafah crossing is controlled by Hamas and Egypt, though RSF says Israel monitors all activities at the southern border.

Gaza's only other official border crossing, which links the besieged territory to Israel, has also been shut.

"In two months of war, not a single reporter has been authorised to enter the Gaza Strip via Rafah, which clearly undermines the media's ability to cover the conflict," RSF said.

Israel also "bombed this border gate four times at the start of the war", it added.

According to RSF, 58 journalists have been killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes, 14 of them in the line of duty.

Israel's air and ground invasion of the Gaza Strip has killed more than 16,200 people, most of them women and children, while relentless Israeli bombardment has injured dozens of thousands and displaced nearly 2 million people from their homes.

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