Palestinian men set up a structure amid the destruction caused by Israeli strikes in the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis.—AFP
Palestinian men set up a structure amid the destruction caused by Israeli strikes in the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis.—AFP

MOTAZ Azaiza, a freelance photo journalist, alleged that Israeli forces hacked his drone while he was documenting the events in the Gaza Strip. On Monday, during his coverage of the atrocities, he recorded a video showing his drone being seized. This information was shared through his Instagram story.

In a series of Instagram stories, the initial one depicts the drone being pulled towards the Israeli border, with Motaz and his colleague conversing and laughing.

In the second video, Motaz and his colleague Ahmed Al Danaf can be observed pursuing the drone amid a series of completely demolished buildings. In the third video, Ahmed is depicted attempting to trace the drone’s destination, and in the last video, Motaz affirms that his drone has been confiscated by the Israeli forces. “Israeli forces don’t allow drones,” he said in the video.

Motaz has been actively documenting the atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza. Additionally, he provided coverage of the Israeli aggression in both 2014 and 2021.

Motaz graduated from Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, which now lies in ruins due to Israeli bombings. Like many other graduates, he struggled to secure a job as a photographer after completing his education. Consequently, he opted to pursue a career as a freelance photojournalist, originally aspiring to showcase the beauty of Gaza — a dream now overshadowed by the continuous Israeli aggression.

“It was a paradise, now it is hell. I desperately dream of the days before, when I documented my people and my land. That’s all I can think about at the moment,” he said.

He has made statements like these on several occasions and he has been constantly trying to show how awful the situation has gotten for Gazans.

His account has pictures of Gaza that were taken before Israel took over and it is a combination of colours and life. He has taken pictures of markets, coffee shops and other beautiful places which are now a painful reminder of what this city used to be.

He recently also uploaded a video of himself, surrounded by kids who smile brightly for the camera. He captioned it, “We teach you life people”.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2023

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