Wael Dahdouh, the main journalist for Al Jazeera in the Gaza Strip, was assisting with the live transmission of photographs of the night sky over the beleaguered region when he got the heartbreaking news that his wife, son, and daughter had all perished in an Israeli bombing on Wednesday.
Shortly after, the satellite channel showed Dahdouh visiting Gaza’s al-Aqsa Hospital and then breaking down in tears as he looked over his deceased son’s body.
“They take revenge on us in our children?” he asked, kneeling over his son’s bloodied body, still wearing his protective press vest from that day’s work.
According to the network, two hours later, Dahdouh’s grandson was also pronounced dead.
The 53-year-old journalist is well-known in the Arab world for serving as the face of the Palestinian people during several conflicts, so the video was certain to cause a stir. In Gaza, where he was born, he is well regarded for sharing the tales of adversity and pain that people have experienced.
According to Al Jazeera, an Israeli airstrike that struck the Nuseirat Refugee Camp—which is situated in a part of Gaza where the military had urged residents to evacuate for safety—killed Dahdouh’s family members. It stated that several additional family members were still unaccounted for and that the exact number of deaths was yet unknown.
As the conflict, which is currently on its 19th day, displaced over a million people from Gaza, Dahdouh’s family was living in a house in Nuseirat when the attack occurred, according to the network.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, over 6,500 Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli bombardment. The number of deaths could not be reliably confirmed by the Associated Press.
According to the Israeli government, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 1,400 individuals in Israel, the majority of whom were civilians murdered in the initial Hamas onslaught.
Al Jazeera repeated Dahdouh’s initial reaction upon learning of the fatalities late on Wednesday. He may be heard on tape picking up a phone and repeatedly asking a panicked caller, “Who are you with?” Dahdouh had been on the air earlier, documenting the fallout from another strike that, according to local officials, had killed at least 26 people. Dahdouh has stayed in Gaza City throughout the conflict, defying Israeli orders for citizens to evacuate south in anticipation of an impending ground assault.
Believing they would be safer, hundreds of thousands of residents have migrated to Nuseirat and other areas in central and southern Gaza. However, Israeli attacks have not stopped hitting these regions, which are under an Israeli blockade and are severely lacking in gasoline, water, and medication.
Speaking bitterly and sarcastically to another Al Jazeera correspondent inside the al-Aqsa hospital, Dahdouh remarked, “This is the safe area which the occupation army talked about, the moral army.”
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