21 May, 2024
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War on Gaza: Son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief killed by Israeli air strike


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War on Gaza: Son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief killed by Israeli air strike

Journalists Hamza al-Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuraya killed after missile targets their vehicle in Khan Younis

MEE staff

Sun, 01/07/2024 – 09:54

Al Jazeera journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh hugs his daughter and son as they attend the funeral of his son, Palestinian journalist Hamza Al-Dahdouh in Rafah, southern Gaza on 7 January 2024 (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

Two journalists, including the son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh, were killed by an Israeli strike in southern Gaza on Sunday. 

Hamza al-Dahdouh and his colleague Mustafa Thuraya, a video stringer for AFP, were doing fieldwork documenting the destruction caused by an overnight Israeli air strike in a residential area between Khan Younis and Rafah when a missile hit the vehicle they were travelling in, according to Al Jazeera.

In October, Wael lost his wife, daughter, another son and a grandson when they were killed by an Israeli air strike while sheltering in a relative’s home.

Last month, Wael was himself wounded by an Israeli strike that killed his Al Jazeera colleague Samer Abudaqa.

Wael is considered by many across the Arab world to be the face of Al Jazeera’s Gaza coverage.

His son Hamza worked as a producer and videographer, including for Al Jazeera, and has more than one million followers on Instagram. 

Just one day before he was killed, Hamza posted a picture of his father on Instagram, with the caption: “You are the patient and the one who seeks reward, my father, so do not despair of God’s mercy, and be certain that God will reward you well for being patient.” 

In video footage broadcast by Al Jazeera on Sunday, a tearful Wael can be seen bidding farewell to his third child in less than three months. 

People check the car in which journalists Hamza Wael Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuraya were killed in Israeli strike in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on 7 January 2024 (AFP)

“I, just like all of these people, am bidding farewell today… May Allah, the Almighty, give us strength, give us comfort, give us patience. May Allah give us strength to carry on for the sake of Hamza and for the sake of all the martyrs,” Wael said, speaking live on air from southern Gaza’s Rafah.

“To Hamza and to all the martyrs I say, we will remain faithful. This is the road that we have chosen consciously. We have offered much, we have offered a lot of blood because this is our destiny. We shall continue,” he added.

“Hamza was not part of me. He was all of me.”

Al Jazeera denounces ‘crimes against journalists’

Al Jazeera strongly condemned Israel over the killings, and indicated it would take legal measures. 

“The assassination of Mustafa and Hamza… whilst they were on their way to carry out their duty in the Gaza Strip, reaffirms the need to take immediate necessary legal measures against the occupation forces to ensure that there is no impunity,” the media network said.

“Al Jazeera condemns, in the strongest terms, the ongoing crimes committed by Israeli occupation forces against journalists and media professionals in Gaza,” it added.

“This alarming trend requires immediate attention and action from the international community. We urge the International Criminal Court, the governments and human rights organisations, and the United Nations to hold Israel accountable for its heinous crimes and demand an end to the targeting and killing of journalists.”

The network added that it would take all legal measures to prosecute the perpetrators, and reaffirmed its commitment to “achieving justice for more than 100 journalists killed, and to continuing to cover these grave violations”. 

Gaza’s government media office on Sunday condemned Israel’s killing of the two journalists, saying it denounced “in the strongest terms this heinous crime”. 

It added that Israel aims to “intimidate journalists in a failed attempt to obscure the truth and prevent media coverage”, and called on “the occupation to stop the genocidal war against our defenceless people in the Gaza Strip”. 

The media office said Sunday’s killings took the death toll of Palestinian journalists in Gaza killed since 7 October to 109. 

At least 22,835 Palestinians have been killed in the enclave since war broke out three months ago, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Around 58,166 others have been wounded during that time.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

Son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief killed by Israeli air strike

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