November 9, 2023
ISLAMABAD – Journalists and civil society took to the streets on Wednesday to in a show of solidarity for journalists who have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched an air and ground assault following the surprise attack by Hamas on October 7.
An estimated one hundred protesters marched from Karachi Press Club (KPC) to the Sindh Governor House, chanting slogans and waving Palestinian flags as they wore the keffiyeh — a black and white patterned scarf.
More than 40 journalists are among the death toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli bombardment in response to Palestinian fighter group Hamas’ unexpected border breach, which Israeli officials claimed the lives of 1,400 people.
According to a report published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) today, eight journalists have been injured, three are reported missing and nine have been arrested.
Additionally, more than 10,500 Palestinians — including over 4,000 children — have been killed in the past month, according to health officials in Gaza, as Tel Aviv intensifies its assault on the coastal enclave.
Author and veteran journalist Razia Sultana commended the “incredible bravery” shown by Palestinian journalists providing coverage amid heavy Israeli bombardment.
“They’ve become role models for us,” she said. “I salute them.”
Sultana lamented that journalists could not even bury the deceased with dignity, particularly referencing Al Jazeera journalist Wael Dahdouh — who lost his family in an Israeli strike on October 25.
Despite losing several family members, the Al Jazeera Bureau Chief in Gaza continued to report for the channel barely 24 hours after learning of their deaths.
“I felt that it was my duty, despite the pain and the open wound, to get back in front of the camera, and to communicate with you on social media as soon as possible,” Dahdouh had said after the strike.
Geo News reporter Tariq Abul Hassan echoed the sentiments of Sultana. Hassan, who has covered conflicts in Afghanistan and Lebanon, condemned Israel for disregarding international laws with its widespread bombing of Palestine.
He said that during the 2006 Lebanon War between Hezbollah and Israel, Tel Aviv had targeted and killed several journalists then too.
Household name Chand Nawab was also among several prominent journalists in attendance. “They are killing innocent children, they are terrorising Gaza,” he said as he decried American support to Israel in the aftermath of the attack by Hamas.
“There have been protests against Israel all over [the world]. Journalists are also protesting in Karachi. Where is the United Nations?” he asked.
“I urge everyone to show up in large numbers for any protest happening in support of Palestine,” said Uzma Sultan, another one of the attendees. “We need to show our Palestinian brethren that we stand with them in their hour of need.”
Wajih Sahini from Geo News said that the history of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians “went far beyond October 7”. He said that the Western media was being biased and “not showing the other side of the story”.