Index 2024
157/ 180
Score : 31.92
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
156/ 180
Score : 37.86
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

Palestine has become the world’s most dangerous country for journalists:  More than 100 reporters were killed in six months in Gaza by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) since 7 October 2023, including 22 in the line of duty. In the West Bank, where journalists were already the victims of abuses by both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupying forces, Israeli pressure has intensified since 7 October, with an increase in arrests of reporters and obstructions to their work.

Media landscape

Media coverage of the war in Gaza is carried out from the besieged and completely blocked enclave by both professional and non-professional journalists, who use their social media accounts to inform the world about daily life in times of war. They also work for local and international media. The media landscape in Palestine consists of several independent media outlets, such as Watan TV and Ajyal Radio, and media outlets affiliated with the Palestinian Authority or Fatah, such as Palestine TV and the Wafa news agency. Content is subject to political control. In the Gaza Strip, there are also media affiliated with Hamas, such as the Shehab News agency and the Al-Aqsa Media Network.

Political context

The Gaza Strip has always been a particularly dangerous territory for press freedom. Journalists suspected of collaborating with Israel are hampered in their work by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, while also enduring the violence of the Israeli blockade on the territory. Since 7 October 2023, the blockade has intensified, as has the violence, and the journalists who had resisted pressure from Hamas in Gaza were then confronted with Israeli propaganda accusing them of working for Hamas. Journalists are often the target of smear campaigns and threats, and several Israeli politicians have called for Gaza’s journalists to be punished.

Legal framework

The Palestinian Authority’s basic law provides for freedom of the press and opinion but, in practice, these freedoms clash with the government’s real interests. The cybercrime law, adopted by President Mahmoud Abbas in July 2017, limits both freedom of expression and freedom of the press. In Gaza, the Legislative Council has not drafted new laws since 2007.

Economic context

The economic situation in the Gaza Strip has a major impact on independent and semi-independent media outlets. The majority of them are financially unstable. Since 7 October, Israeli airstrikes have destroyed most telecommunications and media infrastructure in the enclave. With more than 80% of Gaza's population – including hundreds of journalists – displaced and living in tents and with virtually no humanitarian aid permitted, the economic situation has greatly deteriorated.

Sociocultural context

Religion, and especially certain conservative religious movements, weigh heavily on journalism. The work of women journalists, who are the victims of gender discrimination, may be obstructed. For example, they are more likely to be denied access to certain areas than their male colleagues. However, these daily difficulties have taken a back seat since the start of the war, when journalists in Gaza found themselves fighting for survival. These reporters, both men and women, have become the eyes and ears of the world because the Israeli blockade prevents international journalists from entering the enclave.


With arrests, violence, destruction of equipment, legal proceedings and denial of accreditation, practicing journalism was already difficult before 7 October  2023. But with more than 100 reporters killed by the IDF in Gaza in the first six months of war, including at least 22 in the line of duty, during the first six months of war, and dozens more detained in Israeli prisons, Palestine has become the most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2024. Trapped in the enclave, journalists in Gaza have no shelter and lack everything, including food and water. In the West Bank, journalists are routinely harassed and attacked by both settlers and Israeli forces, but repression reached new heights with a wave of arrests after 7 October. Impunity for crimes committed against journalists is the rule.