Geneva, July 31 (PEC) – The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) condemns in the strongest possible manner the killing of 9 journalists in Gaza by the Israeli offensive according to different reliable sources.
It seems that some journalists were killed accidentally and were not directly targeted by the Israeli army. This does not absolve Israel of its obligation to spare all civilians and to respect the international humanitarian law.
Palestinian journalists are taking huge risks to be testimony of the suffering of the victims. They play an essential role to document possible war crimes. The PEC salutes the Palestinian journalists as well as other journalists covering the war in Gaza.
The Geneva based NGO condemns the targeting of media installations and homes of journalists some of those media installations are no longer functional. Even if some are media of the Hamas, the international law is clear: there is no justification to deliberately target any media building.
In the Gaza offensive by Israel there is no need to enquire about the perpetrator, the perpetrator of those crimes is the Israeli war machinery which must be brought to justice.
The PEC calls on all parties to spare all civilians, including journalists, and when it is not possible to distinguish clearly journalists, the PEC reminds all parties to not target media vehicles and media buildings.
According to the Human Rights Council Resolution of 23 July the Council called on Switzerland as depository of the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols to convene the conference of the contracting parties to ensure that international law be implemented in the occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and here the PEC would call upon the contracting parties to enforce the legal protection of journalists and to recognize the press emblem.
Since the beginning of the year 76 journalists have been killed. The figure of this year up to date is higher than the figure during the same period of last year which stood at 69 killed, that is 7 more journalists.