Israel and Hamas at war | Al Jazeera announces that two journalists were killed in an Israeli strike

Al Jazeera television said on Sunday that two of its Palestinian journalists were killed in an Israeli strike on their car in the Gaza Strip, accusing the Israeli army of “targeting” Palestinian journalists.

Hamza Waël Dahdouh, a journalist for the Al Jazeera channel, and his colleague Moustafa Thuraya, a freelance videographer who worked with the Qatari channel and collaborated with AFP and other international media, were killed while driving in a car, at the southern tip of the Palestinian territory, to “carry out their work”, Al Jazeera said. A third journalist who was traveling with them, Hazem Rajab, was seriously injured.

The Israeli army declared to AFP that it had “hit a terrorist who was piloting a flying device representing a threat to the troops”, adding that it was “aware of information according to which, during the strike, two other suspects who were in the same vehicle had also been hit.”

The Hamas Health Ministry in Gaza previously announced their deaths, attributing it to an Israeli strike.

It is an “unimaginable tragedy,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who began a new tour of the region.

Witnesses told AFP that two rockets were fired at the car: one hit the front of the vehicle and the other hit Hamza Waël Dahdouh, who was sitting next to the driver.

“We then found the body parts (of those in the car). The ambulance arrived and transported those who were in the vehicle,” a witness who did not wish to give his name for security reasons told AFP.


The vehicle which transported the two journalists at the time of the strike.

AFP video footage showed a crowd inspecting the destroyed car, while pools of blood were still visible on the road. No other damage was visible in the area.

“Al Jazeera strongly condemns the targeting by Israeli occupying forces of Palestinian journalists’ cars,” the channel said in a statement, accusing Israel of “violating the principles of press freedom.”

Phil Chetwynd, AFP news director, said the agency was “shocked” by the death of Moustafa Thuraya and its thoughts were with his family.

“We strongly condemn all attacks on journalists doing their work and it is essential that we have a clear explanation of what happened,” he added.

Wael al-Dahdouh, father of Hamza al-Dahdouh, is Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in the Gaza Strip. He himself had recently been injured in an Israeli strike and lost his wife and two children in another Israeli strike during the first weeks of the war.


Waël al-Dahdouh (left) is Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in the Gaza Strip.

“Hamza was everything to me (…). While we are full of humanity, they (Israel) are filled with murderous hatred,” Mr Dahdouh told Al Jazeera.

Images show him crying in a hospital, hugging his son’s remains, surrounded by relatives and journalists.

“The world turns a blind eye”

Later in the day, many people gathered for the funeral.

“The world should see with two eyes, not with one Israeli eye, it should see everything that is happening to the Palestinian people (…) but the world turns a blind eye to what is happening in the Gaza Strip,” said Mr. Dahdouh, who was seen kissing the hand of his slain son.

In December, Waël al-Dahdouh was injured during an Israeli strike which also killed an Al Jazeera videographer, Samer Abu Daqqa. The Qatari channel has lost three journalists since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7.

Moustafa Thuraya, aged around 30, had collaborated with AFP since 2019. He has also collaborated with other international media.

He and Hamza al-Dahdouh had gone to the site of a strike in Rafah. It was on their way back that they were fatally hit by a strike, according to AFP correspondents.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas after its unprecedented attack on its territory on October 7, which left around 1,140 dead, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count based on the Israeli toll.

The continuous Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip have left 22,835 dead, mostly civilians, according to the latest report from Hamas, classified as a “terrorist group” by the United States and the European Union.

“We are in shock,” wrote on X Christophe Deloire, the secretary general of the NGO Reporters Without Borders, describing the situation as an “endless massacre.”

With these deaths, at least 79 journalists and media workers, the vast majority Palestinian, have been killed since the start of the war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.


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