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Protest outside Washington Hilton Hotel
The protest outside the White House correspondents’ dinner hotel. Image: Anatolu video screenshot APR

More than two dozen Palestinian journalists had called for a boycott of the dinner, writing an open letter urging their American colleagues not to attend.

“You have a unique responsibility to speak truth to power and uphold journalistic integrity,” said the letter from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.

“It is unacceptable to stay silent out of fear or professional concern while journalists in Gaza continue to be detained, tortured, and killed for doing our jobs.”

‘It hurts our souls’
Al Jazeera’s Hind Khoudary was one of the signatories of the letter calling for the boycott.

She spoke to the network from Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, saying she did not “have the words” to describe what she had been going through.

“This isn’t something that has been ending. It has been continuous every single day for more than 200 days.

“We have been killed, displaced and homeless, and we’re not only reporting on this, but we’re also living it with every single detail.

Gaza journalist Hind Khoudary . . . Palestinian
Gaza journalist Hind Khoudary . . . Palestinian press plea to boycott the White House dinner. Image: @Hind_Gaza

“We’re living this war in all aspects of life. We have not seen our families as journalists. We have not been able to eat well. We have been dehydrated.

“We have been reporting in one of the harshest conditions any reporter can go through despite losing a lot of colleagues, and it hurts our souls and our hearts every single day.

“We have been constantly targeted by the Israeli air strikes and shelling.

“All of these daily things we have been living as journalists are overwhelming [and] exhausting, but we still continue because there have been at least 100 Palestinian journalists whom I personally know that have been killed since October 7.

“If they were here today with us, they would be reporting, and they would be raising the voice of the voiceless Palestinians.”

Protesters pose as Palestinian media casualties in Gaza
Protesters pose as Palestinian media casualties in Gaza surrounded by blue press protective jackets. The death toll of Gaza journalists since October 7 is 142. Image: Anatolu video screenshot APR

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