The Al Jazeera Media Network expressed its strong condemnation of an airstrike in Khan Younis, which tragically resulted in the death of its camera operator, Samer Abu Daqqa, and injured its Gaza bureau chief, Wael Al-Dahdouh.
The network has made serious allegations against Israel, holding it responsible for what it calls the systematic targeting of its journalists. The airstrike incident has drawn attention to the dangers faced by journalists in conflict zones.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Daqqa is the first Al Jazeera journalist to have been killed in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict since October 7. The CPJ also reports that four other Al Jazeera journalists were injured, including three in southern Lebanon and Dahdouh, who tragically lost his wife, daughter, son, and grandson in an Israeli attack on Khan Younis late in October.
In its statement, Al Jazeera extended condolences to Daqqa’s family in both Gaza and Belgium and called for accountability.
The network urged "the international community, media freedom organizations, and the International Criminal Court to take immediate action to hold the Israeli government and military accountable for these acts of carnage and crimes against humanity."
Firsthand Account of the Airstrike
Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief Wael Al-Dahdouh recounted the harrowing moments of the airstrike.
He described the incident, which occurred while returning to an ambulance after filming in a hard-to-reach area of Khan Younis.
"Suddenly, something happened, a big thing, I couldn’t tell what it was, I only felt something big happened and pushed me to the ground," Dahdouh recalled while on a hospital bed, unaware at the time of his colleague's death.He spoke of intense bleeding and the urgent decision to leave the area to avoid further targeting. Dahdouh also mentioned hearing the screams of his colleague, Samer Abu Daqqa, but was advised by ambulance personnel to leave immediately for safety.
"I saw there was an intense bleeding from my shoulder and arm, and I realized if I stayed, I will be bleeding there in that location, and no one will reach me. I asked them to go back to get Samer Abu Daqqa our fellow cameraman whose voice I was hearing, and he was screaming," Dahdouh said.
"But the ambulance personnel said we should leave immediately and send another vehicle to the location so that we don’t get targeted."