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Inside Story

Gaza conflict: journalists under fire?

After Al Jazeera's Gaza offices were shot at, Inside Story examines how international law can be enforced in a war zone.

Last updated: 23 Jul 2014 20:52
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Journalists are coming under increased pressure in the Gaza Strip while reporting on a highly sensitive, divisive and polarised conflict.

War zones by their very nature are extremely dangerous. But safeguards do - or should - exist to protect civilians and journalists.

UN Security Council Resolution 1738 urges national governments and all other parties to an armed conflict, "to do their utmost to prevent violations of international humanitarian law against civilians, including journalists, media professionals and associated personnel".

One journalist has been killed covering this conflict and on Tuesday Al Jazeera's bureau in Gaza was shot at and hit by two .50 calibre bullets.

The shooting took place a day after Israel's foreign minister said he wants to ban Al Jazeera from reporting inside Israel.

According to local media, Avigdor Lieberman said Al Jazeera had "abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organisation, and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies and encouragement to the terrorists".

Al Jazeera has written to Israel’s prime minister to condemn what it calls an unjustifiable attac" on its offices, and criticised Lieberman’s statement as "inflammatory and grossly inaccurate".

So what obligations do governments have to protect journalists during times of conflict, and how can international conventions be enforced?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan

Guests:

Rami Almeghari - a Gaza-based correspondent for Electronic Intifada.

Ben Hartman - national security correspondent for the Jerusalem Post.

Soazig Dollet - head of the Middle East and North Africa desk at Reporters Without Borders.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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