The Geneva Council strongly condemns the recent violent assault on Al Jazeera correspondent Montaser Nassar and a photographer in the Hebron region of the occupied West Bank by Israeli occupation soldiers.
According to credible reports, the soldiers subjected the journalists to severe beatings and confiscated their equipment while they were preparing for a live report on a rooftop in the Wadi al-Shajna area, south of the town of Dura.
Montaser Nassar recounted that the soldiers initiated the attack without warning, neglecting to issue any request to vacate the area before resorting to violence, as reported by Al Jazeera.
This incident is part of a disturbing pattern where Israeli forces have targeted journalists covering the conflict with Palestinian civilians. Earlier this month, Al Jazeera’s Gaza Bureau Chief Wael Al-Dahdouh was injured in an Israeli missile attack that tragically claimed the life of his colleague Samer Abu Daqqa. Al-Dahdouh himself had previously been targeted, losing his wife, son, and daughter in an airstrike on his home.
As of December 23, the toll on journalists in the Israeli offensive has reached a staggering 99, prompting global outcry from human rights advocates demanding the protection of reporters in the region.
A particularly distressing case involves Al-Araby Al-Jadeed journalist Diaa Al-Kahlout, who was reportedly arrested alongside family members. Shocking video footage emerged showing him stripped down to his underwear and forced to sit on the street. Al-Kahlout has since been transferred to an Israeli military base, raising concerns about his health condition as expressed by his family.
On December 22, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) filed a second complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging an investigation into the deaths of Palestinian journalists allegedly killed by Israeli forces.
The Geneva Council echoes the call for a thorough and impartial investigation into these incidents, emphasizing the importance of upholding press freedom and protecting journalists, who play a vital role in informing the public and fostering transparency.