‘Eradication of Journalism in Gaza’ Continues as Israel Kills Two More Reporters

Gaza Press Journalist Media Journalism
A press helmet is placed over the grave of Hamza Dahdouh, a Palestinian journalist who worked for Al Jazeera and was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah on January 7, 2024. 
(Photo: Mohammed Talatene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

An Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday killed two Palestinian journalists and seriously wounded a third, adding to the war’s grisly toll on media workers.

The Al Jazeera Media Network said in a statement that the Israeli military targeted the journalists’ car as they were driving through the northern part of Rafah. The strike killed Hamza Dahdouh, the 27-year-old son of Al Jazeera‘s Gaza bureau chief, and Mustafa Thuraya, a freelance videographer working with Agence France-Presse. Hazem Rajab was injured in the Israeli strike.

“The assassination of Mustafa and Hamza, Al Jazeera correspondent Wael Dahdouh’s son, 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 network said, imploring the international community to “hold Israel accountable for its heinous crimes.”

Hamza is the fifth member of Wael Dahdouh’s family killed in Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip. Earlier in the war, Israeli strikes killed Dahdouh’s wife, younger son, daughter, and grandson. Wael himself was wounded by an Israeli drone strike that killed Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abu Daqqa.

“Hamza was everything to me, the eldest boy, he was the soul of my soul,” Wael said in anguished remarks from the cemetery where his son was buried. “These are the tears of parting and loss, the tears of humanity.”

Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, expressed “shock” in response to news of Dahdouh and Thuraya’s killing.

“This unbearable massacre must stop,” Deloire wrote on social media. “Israel must be held accountable for this eradication of journalism in Gaza. We will continue to refer to the International Criminal Court so that maximum priority is given to crimes against journalists. Justice must be served.”

Since October 7, Israeli forces have killed dozens of media workers in the Gaza Strip, where around 1,000 journalists were working before the assault. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), more journalists were killed in the first 10 weeks of the war “than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year.”

“CPJ is particularly concerned about an apparent pattern of targeting journalists and their families by the Israeli military,” the group said last month. An investigation by Reporters Without Borders concluded that Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah and his colleagues were deliberately targeted in October 13 strikes in southern Lebanon.

Reporters Without Borders has filed two war crimes complaints with the International Criminal Court since early October. The second complaint, submitted last month, accuses the Israel Defense Forces of intentionally killing seven Palestinian journalists.

“Targeting reporters is a war crime,” the group wrote in a social media post on Sunday.

Jake Johnson is a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams.

Originally published in CommonDreams.org

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