Image reproduction of the RSF campaign

Three days before the ninth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 2222, which deals with the protection of journalists in times of war, the organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) filed a new complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC). This action comes just days after the ICC prosecutor issued the first requests for arrest warrants related to the Gaza conflict.

RSF’s new complaint to the ICC reiterates the urgent need to investigate the crimes of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against journalists in Gaza since October 7, 2023. According to RSF, the number of journalists killed in Gaza by the IDF continues to rise. grow, surpassing the 100 mark, in a supposed attempt to eradicate Palestinian media.

The most recent complaint details eight new cases of Palestinian journalists killed between December 20, 2023 and May 20, 2024, as well as one case of an injured journalist. All journalists involved were killed or injured in the course of their work. RSF says it has reasonable grounds to believe that some of these journalists were deliberately killed and that others were victims of deliberate IDF attacks on civilians.

Among the journalists mentioned in the complaint are:

  • Mustapha Thuraya and Hamza al-Dahdouh: Al Jazeera freelance reporters, killed on January 7 in Rafah by an Israeli drone strike on their vehicle. The drone used by Thuraya, according to the Washington Post, indicated purely journalistic use.
  • Ahmed Badir: Reporter for the Hadaf News website, killed by an airstrike at the entrance to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah on January 10.
  • Yasser Mamdouh: Kan’an News Agency correspondent killed near Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis on February 11.
  • Ayat Khadoura: Independent video blogger, killed in his home on November 20 after posting a video.
  • Yazan Emad Al-Zwaidi: Cameraman for the Egyptian satellite TV news channel Al Ghad, killed on January 14 in Beit Hanoun.
  • Ahmed Fatima: Journalist from Al Qahera News TV channel, killed during shelling in Khan Yunis on 13 November.
  • Rami Bdeir: Reporter for the Palestinian media outlet New Press, killed during Israeli shelling in Khan Yunis on December 15.

Statement and response

Antonio Bernardo, Director of Defense and Assistance at RSF, emphasized the seriousness of the situation: “Impunity endangers journalists not only in Palestine, but also around the world. Those who kill journalists are attacking the public’s right to information, which is even more essential in times of conflict. They must be held accountable, and RSF will continue to work towards this end, in solidarity with reporters from Gaza.”

In a message sent to RSF on January 5, the ICC prosecutor’s office stated for the first time that crimes against journalists are included in the Palestine investigation. RSF reiterated its request to the prosecutor to investigate all IDF killings of journalists in Gaza since October 7.

UN Security Council Resolution 2222, adopted on May 27, 2015, highlights the importance of prosecuting and punishing war crimes against journalists. RSF hopes that this resolution will continue to serve as a solid basis for international legal action against those responsible for the deaths of journalists in conflict.

The filing of this complaint marks an ongoing effort by RSF to ensure that crimes against journalists do not go unpunished. As the conflict in Gaza persists, the need for accountability becomes increasingly urgent, highlighting the importance of international justice mechanisms to protect those who risk their lives to inform the public.


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