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In December, South Africa filed a case against Israel with the International Court of Justice, (ICJ) claiming it had breached obligations under the genocide convention in the Gaza Strip. An interim judgment was delivered on Friday 26 January, in which the president of the court, Joan Donoghue, said Israel must “take all measures within its power” to prevent acts that fall within the scope of the genocide convention and must ensure “with immediate effect” that its forces do not commit any of the acts covered by the convention.

In its interim judgment, the ICJ located in The Hague, ordered Israel to submit a report to the Court on measures taken within one month.

Following the interim judgment, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ ) wrote to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister and Yoav Gallant, defence minister, urging them to adhere to international law and do all in their power to protect civilians, including journalists .

The Federation said it will initiate legal action in the international courts against politicians and Israeli Defence Force commanders if Israel does not commit to the orders of the ICJ, regarding the targeting of journalists.

The IFJ believes that at least 96 journalists and media workers have been killed in the Israel-Palestine war, with the majority of these (90) Palestinian journalists in Gaza. Reports of Israel’s use of artificial intelligence platforms such as Gospel to generate bombing targets has led to increased concern over its capabilities to deliberately target journalists, and the IFJ has urged the Israeli government to answer accusations of intentional targeting.

The NUJ has called for an International Criminal Court investigation into the killings of journalists, as the unprecedented death toll continues to rise. The union has repeatedly called for the immediate release of all hostages and for a mutual cessation of violence, with a permanent ceasefire declared.

Last month Al Jazeera accused Israel of the targeted killing of two of its journalists in Gaza. Hamza Dahdouh, the son of the Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuria were killed while on assignment for Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based media network said in a statement. A third freelancer, Hazem Rajab, was wounded.

Last October the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) told Reuters and Agence France Press news agencies that it could not guarantee the safety of their journalists operating in the Gaza Strip, after they had sought assurances that their journalists would not be targeted by Israeli strikes

Photo IFJ.