Yesterday, five Maltese organisations sent an open letter to the European Parliament, calling for an immediate ceasefire to protect the remaining innocent civilians in Gaza, Palestine, including journalists.
The letter was sent in the context of a key debate occurring today at 9am at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, concerning the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The full text of the letter follows.
Dear President of the European Parliament,
Dear Chairs of S&D, EPP, Renew, Greens, ECR, ID, and The Left,
We, the undersigned organisations in Malta, are deeply disturbed by the indiscriminate killings of innocent civilians in Gaza, including journalists, and we are urging you to call for a ceasefire by all parties involved. The ever-worsening humanitarian and human rights catastrophe unfolding in Gaza urgently needs to be redressed.
More than 13,000 people have been killed in Gaza by the IDF since the shocking attacks on civilians in Israel on 7 October, by Hamas, which left some 1,200 dead. Of the dead in Gaza, more than 5,500 are children. Moreover, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, as of 21 November, at least 53 journalists and media workers were confirmed dead - 10 in the last four days alone, 11 journalists were reported injured, three journalists were reported missing, 18 journalists were reported arrested and media headquarters have been illegally destroyed. When a journalist is killed, the collective loss is larger than the individual loss of life. Every death of a journalist diminishes the collective capacity to tell the truth about what is happening in Gaza.
The US call for a more targeted campaign of bombing has failed to stop indiscriminate killing. No one and nowhere in Gaza is safe. The bombing of schools, hospitals and refugee camps and the killing of innocent civilians continues at a rate unknown in recent history. The death rate among journalists is four times the rest of the population. This implies that journalists are being targeted for extrajudicial killing, which is a war crime.
Humanitarian aid is not enough. As Josep Borrell said in Manama on 18 November, “It does not make any sense to give me dinner tonight, if you are going to kill me tomorrow.” Journalists and other civilians in Gaza need protection which they can get only through a ceasefire agreement that guarantees their safety, regardless of their nationality and wherever they normally live.
We strongly urge the European Parliament to take a strong and united stand against the indiscriminate slaughter in Gaza, advocating for a ceasefire and a comprehensive resolution to the conflict to stop the killing of journalists and other innocent civilians.
We trust in your commitment to ensure the safety and well-being of all civilians affected by this conflict, including journalists.
The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation
Jesuit Refugee Services