WASHINGTON - Senior leaders at multiple global media outlets signed a letter urging Israeli authorities to protect journalists in Gaza, saying reporters have been working in unprecedented conditions during Israel's assault on the enclave and faced "grave personal risk."

Among media outlets whose top editors signed the letter dated Thursday were the Associated Press, AFP, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, BBC, CNN, the Guardian, Financial Times, Der Spiegel and Haaretz.



A total of at least 94 journalists have been killed in the Israel-Gaza war; the majority of them - 89 - being Palestinians killed by the Israeli military, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which released the letter signed by the leaders of 59 news organizations.

The CPJ has said the war has been the "most dangerous ever" for journalists. Israel denies deliberately targeting journalists and civilians, saying it is only going after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which governs Gaza and attacked Israel on Oct. 7.



"These journalists ... continue to report despite grave personal risk. They continue despite the loss of family, friends, and colleagues, the destruction of homes and offices, constant displacement, communications blackouts, and shortages of food and fuel," the letter said.

"Journalists are civilians and Israeli authorities must protect journalists as noncombatants according to international law," the letter added.



Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200, according to Israeli tallies. Israel has since militarily assaulted Hamas-governed Gaza, with its bombardment of the tiny enclave killing over 30,000 Palestinians, according to the local health ministry, many of them civilians.

Most of Gaza has been flattened in Israel's offensive, with nearly all its 2.3 million population displaced and on the brink of starvation. South Africa has accused Israel of state-led genocide at the World Court. Israel denies the allegation and says it is acting in self-defense after the Oct. 7 attack.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Aurora Ellis)