Killed Israeli hostages had white flag, investigation finds: Update on Israel-Hamas war

Killed Israeli hostages had white flag, investigation finds: Update on Israel-Hamas war

An Al Jazeera cameraman was killed and the head of the Gaza Strip’s Arabic bureau was injured in an attack in southern Gaza on Friday, Al Jazeera saidthe latest in a long series of journalist casualties during the war.

The cameraman, Samer Abu Daqqa, and Wael al-Dahdouh, the bureau chief, were covering the aftermath of airstrikes on a UN school-turned-shelter in Khan Younis when they were both injured, the channel said . Mr al-Dahdouh told Al Jazeera he was able to leave the area and seek help. Mr. Abu Daqqa bled to death from his injuries after emergency medical responders were unable to reach him, the channel said.

Mr. Abu Daqqa, 45, was the 13th Al Jazeera journalist killed since the channel opened in 1996, according to Al Jazeera.

His funeral took place on Saturday in Khan Younis. Al Jazeera televised part of his funeral, during which Mr al-Dahdouh spoke alongside dozens of other colleagues and family members. Fellow journalists, including Mr. al-Dahdouh, cried in anguish, some stroking the cameraman’s bloodied face. His bulletproof vest and blue helmet rested on his shrouded body. Mr. al-Dahdouh accused Israeli forces of targeting dozens of journalists, their offices and their families. “We will continue to do our duty with the greatest professionalism and transparency,” despite the attacks on journalists, he said. “We will carry our message.”

The Israeli military said it “has never and will never deliberately target journalists” and that it takes “operationally feasible measures” to protect civilians and journalists. Khan Younis is one of three areas Israel has said it is targeting in its battle to eradicate Hamas from Gaza.

In October, Mr. al Dahdouh’s wife, son, daughter and grandson were killed in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, where they had taken refuge.

Mohamed Moawad, editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera, described Mr Abu Daqqa as “a compassionate soul” whose photographs “captured the raw and unfiltered reality and life in Gaza”.

“In his quest for the truth, our cameraman took immense risks to bring viewers a better understanding of the human experience in Gaza,” he said in a social media post. “Its purpose became a window into the lives of those affected by the conflict, highlighting the stories that needed to be told. »

According to the Committee to Protect Journalistsa New York-based non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of journalists around the world, 64 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, more than ‘during any other similar period. since the group began collecting data in 1992.

CPJ defines journalists as “people who cover news or comment on public affairs through print, digital, broadcast, and other means,” and media workers as essential support staff, including translators, drivers and fixers. The group said it does not include people in its counts if there is evidence that they “acted on behalf of militant groups or served in a military capacity at the time of their death.”

According to CPJ data, some of the 64 killed in Gaza were freelancers and did not work for traditional media outlets, and its website noted that it was unclear whether all were covering the conflict at the time of their deaths. Israel and Egypt have largely blocked international journalists from entering the enclave since the start of the conflict; Hamas, which controls Gaza, has long restricted what the media can cover.

Carlos Martínez de la Serna, CPJ program director, said the organization was concerned on “the series of attacks against Al Jazeera journalists and their families”.

In A declaration, Al Jazeera accused Israel of being responsible for Friday’s attack in Khan Younis and of having “systematically targeted and killed Al Jazeera journalists and their families.” He urged “the international community, media freedom organizations and the International Criminal Court to take immediate action to hold the Israeli government and military to account.”

John Kirby, a White House spokesman, said he was not aware of any evidence that Israel was intentionally targeting journalists, who he said should be protected.

“It is never acceptable to deliberately target them because they carry out vital and dangerous work,” he said, adding: “This is a principle we will continue to respect.”

International watchdogs said the October 13 Israeli strike, which killed a Reuters news agency videographer and injured six other journalists, was a targeted attack carried out by the Israeli military. Earlier this year, a CPJ report found that no one had been held accountable for the nearly 20 journalists killed by the Israeli army since 2001.

Katie Rogers reports contributed.

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Eric D. Eilerman

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