Call to the International Court of Justice: Protect evidence in the Gaza war

Journalist at work in Rafah, Gaza
Image credit
Abed Zagout / Anadolu

Together with CPJ, ARTICLE19 and six other partners we undersigned a statement that strongly supports South Africa’s urgent request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order Israel to ensure and facilitate the unimpeded access to Gaza of journalists. Independent journalism is essential in documenting war crimes and in providing reliable news to counter hate speech and disinformation.

On 26 January 2024, the ICJ ordered Israel to “take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Genocide Convention.” Yet, Israel has so far failed to undertake such measures

Journalists, independent human rights investigators, fact-finding missions, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) still do not have access to Gaza. Despite the valiant efforts of Palestinian journalists who continue reporting despite a daily struggle to survive, Israel’s censorious actions make it nearly impossible to comprehensively, continuously and independently document what is happening on the ground in Gaza and risk significantly hampering future accountability efforts.

Therefore the undersigned organisations dedicated to defending freedom of expression and information, protecting journalists and upholding digital rights, respectfully urge the ICJ to indicate detailed, clear and unequivocal measures to allow for the collection and preservation of evidence of atrocity crimes that may have been committed in Gaza and preventing the destruction of such evidence.

Without such measures, not only will many of Israel’s potentially egregious abuses against Palestinians and breaches of international law remain unknown and unpunished, but the knowledge that Israel can continue to operate largely in the dark also creates an information vacuum that leaves Palestinians, Israelis and the world vulnerable to information manipulation. Ultimately, shielded by opacity and censorship, wrongdoers operate in an environment devoid of public scrutiny which is ripe for abuse, continued civilian deaths, starvation and destruction.


Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
Free Press Unlimited
International Press Institute (IPI)
Digital Action
The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)
Access Now
Reporters Without Borders (RSF

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