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UNESCO awards press prize to Palestinian reporters in Gaza


UNESCO on Thursday awarded its world press freedom prize to all Palestinian journalists covering the war in Gaza, where Israel has been battling Hamas for more than six months.

“In these times of darkness and hopelessness, we wish to share a strong message of solidarity and recognition to those Palestinian journalists who are covering this crisis in such dramatic circumstances,” said Mauricio Weibel, chair of the international jury of media professionals.

“As humanity, we have a huge debt to their courage and commitment to freedom of expression.”

Audrey Azoulay, director general at the UN organisation for education, science and culture, said the prize paid “tribute to the courage of journalists facing difficult and dangerous circumstances”.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 97 members of the press have been killed since the war broke out in October, 92 of whom were Palestinians.

The war started with Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel estimates that 129 captives seized by militants during their attack remain in Gaza. The military says 34 of them are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,596 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.



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