Al Jazeera said its bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al Dahdouh, lost his wife, son, daughter, and grandson in what it said was an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday. The blast hit a house in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza where the family was taking shelter after being displaced, according to the news organization.
“Members of the family of our colleague Wael Al Dahdouh, including his wife, son, and daughter, were martyred in an Israeli bombing,” Al Jazeera wrote in an on-air message.
An emotional Al Dahdouh was seen in a video crying as he stood over his son’s body, wrapped in a white sheet. The distraught journalist was also seen carrying the small body of his grandson through Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Gaza.
Al Jazeera anchor Abdisalam Farah announced the deaths on air, visibly struggling to keep his composure and tearing up.
Al-Dahdouh’s wife, son Mahmoud, and daughter Sham were killed in the strike, Al Jazeera said. Al-Jazeera reported that his grandson, Adam, was declared dead two hours later.
Israel’s leadership has vowed to wipe out Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, in response to its October 7 deadly terror attacks and kidnap rampage in which 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed and more than 200 taken hostage.
Its weeks-long siege on Gaza has resulted in a humanitarian crisis inside the enclave, now cut off from the world by a near-total blockade, say aid groups. Israeli airstrikes have decimated entire neighborhoods, leveling homes, schools, and mosques.
More than 6,400 people have been killed and a further 17,000 injured in Israel’s sustained aerial bombardment of the crowded enclave, according to latest figures from the Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza published by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.
Advocacy groups condemned the death of Al Dahdouh’s family members on Wednesday. The International Press Institute (IPI) called it “horrifying and outrageous news,” in a statement. “We condemn the killing of civilians and offer our deepest condolences to Wael Dahdouh.”
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 24 journalists have died since the start of this conflict as of Wednesday. Twenty of those killed are Palestinian, three are Israeli, and one is a Lebanese journalist, CPJ said.
The figure includes Palestinian journalist Roshdi Sarraj, according to Palestinian press agency WAFA, which said he was killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Sarraj was a fixer at French national public radio broadcaster Radio France and had been working with its correspondents since May 2021, according to Radio France.