Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief loses fifth family member in Israeli strike

Published January 7, 2024
Wael Al-Dahdouh hugs his daughter as they attend the funeral of his son Hamza on January 7. — Reuters
Wael Al-Dahdouh hugs his daughter as they attend the funeral of his son Hamza on January 7. — Reuters

The eldest son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Al-Dahdouh was among two journalists killed in an Israeli air strike on a car near Rafah in southern Gaza on Sunday.

Mustafa Thuria and Hamza Al-Dahdouh, a journalist with the Al Jazeera television network, were killed while they were travelling in a car, the health ministry and medics said.

Wael is particularly well known to viewers across the Middle East after he learned during a live broadcast in October that his wife, another son, daughter and grandson had been killed in an Israeli air strike.

The Gaza government’s media office said the two new deaths raised its own tally of journalists killed by the Israeli offensive to 109.

A video posted on an Al Jazeera-linked YouTube channel showed Wael crying next to his son’s body and holding his hand. Later, after his son’s burial, he said in televised remarks that journalists in Gaza would keep doing their job.

“All the world needs to see what is happening here,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Al Jazeera Media Network condemned the killing of the two journalists and said it had been a deliberate attack.

“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 said in a statement.

Among journalists who have died covering the conflict was Reuters visuals journalist Issam Abdallah. A Lebanese citizen, he was killed on Oct 13 by an Israeli tank crew while filming cross-border shelling in Lebanon, a Reuters investigation has found.

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