New York, Oct 21 (IANS): The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based nonprofit, has said that at least 22 journalists have been killed since the Hamas launched its massive assault on Israel on October 7.
In a report released on Friday, the CPJ said that it is investigating all reports of journalists killed, injured, detained, or missing in the raging conflict, including those hurt as hostilities spread to neighboring Lebanon.
"As of October 20, at least 22 journalists were among the more than 4,000 dead on both sides since the war began on October 7, with hundreds killed in Tuesday’s hospital blast in Gaza," it said.
"Journalists in Gaza face particularly?high?risks as they try to cover the conflict in the face of a ground assault by Israeli troops, devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, and extensive power outages."
Of the 22 slain journalists, 18 were Palestinian, three Israelis and one Lebanese.
While eight reporters were injured, three others have been reportedly missing or detained.
The CPJ said that it was probing "numerous unconfirmed reports of other journalists being killed, missing, detained, hurt or threatened, and of damage to media offices and journalists’ homes".
“CPJ emphasizes that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.
“Journalists across the region are making great sacrifices to cover this heartbreaking conflict. All parties must take steps to ensure their safety.”
The nonprofit stressed that it remained unclear whether all of the slain journalists were covering the conflict at the time of their deaths.