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War on Gaza: Palestinian journalist Saher Akram Rayan killed in Israeli air strike

The Wafa news agency correspondent was killed along with his son, Anas, while trying to rescue their wounded neighbours in the west of Gaza City
Saher Akram Rayan had worked for Wafa news agency for over 20 years (Wafa)

A  correspondent for the Palestinian news agency Wafa has been killed in an Israeli air strike, the outlet said on Monday.

Saher Akram Rayan was killed along with his son, Anas, while trying to rescue their wounded neighbours in the west of Gaza City.

In a statement, Wafa said that Rayan had worked for the agency for over 20 years. Ahmad Assaf, the Palestinian Authority general supervisor for official media, extended his condolences to Rayan's family.

Rayan's death comes shortly after Gaza's media office reported the deaths of three more Palestinian journalists in Israeli air strikes on Saturday, bringing the death toll of journalists killed in the strip since 7 October to 136.

On 18 March, Israeli forces arrested an unspecified number of journalists, including Ismail Alghoul, one of the last remaining correspondents for Al Jazeera Arabic in Gaza during a raid on the Al-Shifa hospital.

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The network said: "The targeting [of Alghoul] is an attempt by the occupation army to intimidate journalists to stop them from reporting its crimes against civilians in Gaza."

Record number of killings

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the work of journalists operating around the hospital complex, where thousands of displaced Palestinians are sheltering, has been impeded by repeated telecommunications blackouts.

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According to a preliminary investigation released on 21 March by the CPJ, at least 95 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza and three in Lebanon since the war broke out on 7 October. Four Israeli journalists were also killed by Palestinian fighters on 7 October.

In addition to the mounting death toll, the report documented multiple instances of journalists being targeted while trying to report from the strip, including 25 arrests, assaults and cyberattacks.

The CPJ is also investigating multiple unconfirmed reports of other journalists being killed, missing, detained, hurt, or threatened, and of damage to media offices and journalists’ homes.

In its annual report, the CPJ found that 75 percent of journalists killed in 2023 were Palestinians reporting on Israel's war on Gaza, making it the deadliest year for the media in almost a decade.

“In December 2023, CPJ reported that more journalists were killed in the first three months of the Israel-Gaza war than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year,” the organisation said.

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