From outside Gaza, the scale of death and destruction is impossible to grasp, shrouded by communications blackouts, restrictions barring international reporters and extreme challenges facing local journalists.
To many people outside Gaza, the war flashes by as a doomscroll of headlines and casualty tolls and photos of screaming children, the bloody shreds of somebody else’s anguish.
But the true scale of death and destruction is impossible to grasp, the details hazy and shrouded by internet and cellphone blackouts that obstruct communication, restrictions barring international journalists and the extreme, often life-threatening challenges of reporting as a local journalist from Gaza.
There are pinholes in the murk, apertures such as the Instagram feeds of Gaza photographers and a small number of testimonies that slip through. With every passing week, however, the light dims as those documenting the war leave, quit or die. Reporting from Gaza has come to seem pointlessly risky to some local journalists, who despair of moving the rest of the world to act.
“I survived death multiple times and put myself in danger” to document the war, Ismail al-Dahdouh, a Gaza reporter, wrote in an Instagram post this month to announce he was quitting journalism. Yet a world “that doesn’t know the meaning of humanity” had not acted to stop it.
At least 76 Palestinian journalists have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas led an attack on Israel and Israel responded by launching an all-out war. The Committee to Protect Journalists says more journalists and media workers — including essential support staff such as translators, drivers and fixers — have been killed in the past 16 weeks than in a whole year of any other conflict since 1992.