The death toll of journalists killed whilst covering the Israel-Hamas war has risen to at least 63 in the space of two months.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Defence force is facing international condemnation after Reuters revealed that its journalist Issam Abdallah was killed by an Israeli tank crew whilst reporting from inside Lebanon.
A Reuters report has concluded that Abdallah was killed, and six journalist colleagues injured, whilst reporting a kilometre away from the Israeli border on 13 October. An Israeli tank crew fired two shells at them in quick succession.
The Israeli Defence force has killed at least 59 journalists since the start of the conflict and the actions of Hamas have killed at least four journalists.
As of 7 December, at least 63 journalists have been killed covering the conflict, according to a count by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The dead are believed to include 56 Palestinians, four Israeli journalists and three Lebanese.
Many of the Palestinian journalists who have died were killed in airstrikes alongside multiple family members.
The wife and children of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh were killed by an Israeli air raid on 25 October, after they had fled from northern Gaza to the south as recommended by Israel, and he was seen reacting to the news on air and then continuing to work in the following days.
Al Jazeera Media Network, which has been facing attempts by Israel to shut down its local bureau, said it was “deeply concerned about the safety, and well-being of our colleagues in Gaza and hold the Israeli authorities responsible for their security.
“The Network strongly condemns the indiscriminate targeting and killing of innocent civilians in Gaza, which has led to the loss of Wael Al-Dahdouh’s family and countless others.”
Other threats to journalists and newsgathering
According to the International Federation of Journalists, Israeli airstrikes completely or partially destroyed Al-Ayyam newspaper, Gaza FM, the headquarters of Shehab news agency and the offices of Palestinian news agency Ma’an among other media outlets.
A team from BBC Arabic were “stopped and assaulted” by Israeli police in Tel Aviv on 12 October, according to the broadcaster.
Their car was marked with red “TV” tape and the journalists showed their press cards, but one of the journalists, Muhannad Tutunji, said he was hit on the neck and his phone was taken and thrown on the ground. “Journalists must be able to report on the conflict in Israel-Gaza freely,” a BBC spokesperson said.
The following summary of media casualties is per the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), with other sources included where possible.
The current conflict in Israel is the most deadly for journalists covering conflict since the CPJ began tracking casualties in 1992. It quickly overtook the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, and has so far seen 15 journalists and media workers killed.
Journalists killed during the Israel-Hamas war
Shaima El-Gazzar, a Palestinian journalist for Al-Majedat network, was killed along with her family members in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the Beirut-based press freedom group SKeyes and the Cairo-based media outlet Darb.
Abdullah Darwish, a Palestinian cameraman forAl-Aqsa TV, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, according to the Amman-based news outlet Roya News, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and the International Federation of Journalists.
Montaser Al-Sawaf, a Palestinian cameraman for Anadolu Agency, was killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, as confirmed by Anadolu Agency, Middle East Monitor, and the International Federation of Journalists.
Adham Hassouna, a Palestinian freelance journalist and media professor at Gaza and Al-Aqsa universities, was killed, along with several members of his family in an Israeli airstrike in the city of Gaza, as reported by the Ramallah-based Palestinian news network SHFA and the Beirut-based press freedom group SKeyes, and the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate.
Mostafa Bakeer, a Palestinian journalist and cameraperson for Al-Aqsa TV, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza, according to the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa radio, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and the International Federation of Journalists.
Mohamed Mouin Ayyash, a Palestinian journalist and a freelance photographer, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his home in Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, along with 20 members of his family, according to the Amman-based news outlet Roya News, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa.
Mohamed Nabil Al-Zaq, a Palestinian journalist and a social media manager for Al-Quds TV, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Shejaiya in northern Gaza, according to the Amman-based news outlet Roya News, the Ramallah-based news website Wattan TV, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and the International Federation of Journalists.
Two Lebanese journalists for the TV channel Al-Mayadeen, reporter Farah Omar and cameraman Al Maamari, were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Tayr Harfa area of southern Lebanon near the border with Israel.
This is reported to have been their final live broadcast, an hour before their deaths:
Palestinian freelance journalist and podcast presenter Ayat Khadoura was killed in an Israeli airstrike on her home in northern Gaza along with an unknown number of her family members.
Alaa Taher Al-Hassanat, a presenter for AlMajedat Media Network, was killed with multiple members of her family in an airstrike on her home.
Belal Jadallah, director of Press House-Palestine, a non-profit that supports independent Palestinian media, was killed in his car in an airstrike. A senior member of the International Red Cross said Jadallah was “known as the ‘godfather of Palestinian journalists’, and indeed trained a generation of journalists in Gaza”.
Abdelhalim Awad, a Palestinian media worker and driver for the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV, was killed in a strike on his home. A colleague told CPJ Awad had been working full-time since the war broke out in the city of Khan Yunis but had left to visit his family.
Friends and colleagues Sari Mansour, director of the Quds News Network, and Hassouneh Salim, freelance photojournalist, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.
Mostafa El Sawaf, a writer and analyst who contributed to the local news website MSDR News, was killed in an airstrike on his home in Gaza City along with his wife and two of his sons.
Amro Salah Abu Hayah, who worked in the broadcast department of Al-Aqsa, was killed in a strike.
Photographer Mossab Ashour was killed in an attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp.
Monday 13 November
Ahmed Fatima, a photographer/cameraman for Egypt-based Al Qahera News TV and a media worker with Press House Palestine, died apparently while covering the situation near the Al-Shifa Hospital. A boss at the TV network posted that they had “lost communication” with the crew and another team member was injured in the strike.
Yaacoub Al-Barsh, executive director of Namaa Radio, was killed in an airstrike on his home.
Photojournalist Ahmed Al-Qara was killed in an airstrike in a town east of Khan Yunis.
Mohammad Abu Hasira, who worked for Wafa news agency, died in an attack on his home alongside 42 family members.
Al-Aqsa radio journalist Yahya Abu Manih was also killed in an airstrike.
Muhammad Al Jaja, who worked for non-profit institute Press House Palestine which owns Sawa news agency in Gaza and promotes press freedom, was killed along with his wife and two daughters in an airstrike on their home.
Palestine TV correspondent Mohammed Abu Hatab was killed with 11 members of his family in a strike on their home in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.
He was reporting for the channel until hours before his death:
Journalist Majd Fadl Arandas who worked for the news website Al-Jamaheer was killed in a strike on the Nuseirat refugee camp.
Fellow journalist Iyad Matar, who worked for Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV, was killed alongside his mother in an airstrike.
Two Palestine TV colleagues died alongside their families in an Israeli airstrike, the channel said.
According to CPJ Imad Al-Wahidi was a media worker and administrator for the channel, while Majed Kashko was a media worker and its office director.
Several sources reported the death of journalist Nazmi Al-Nadim alongside his family in an airstrike in eastern Gaza. Al-Nadim reportedly worked for Palestine TV, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists as its deputy director of finance and administration.
Al-Sahel journalist Yasser Abu Namous and his mother were killed in an airstrike in the west of Khan Younis, according to multiple sources including Al Jazeera.
Voice of Al-Aqsa radio host Duaa Sharaf was killed alongside her child in a missile strike on her home in Gaza, Middle East Monitor reported.
Two Al-Aqsa journalists were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on the same day: Saed Al-Halabi and Ahmed Abu Mhadi.
Freelance journalist Salma Mkhaimer was also killed in an airstrike alongside her child.
Mohammed Imad Labad, a journalist for the Al Resalah news website, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City.
Palestinian jourlist Roshdi Sarraj, founder of agency Ain Media, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Tel Al Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City, according to Radio France.
Sarraj had been working as a fixer for Radio France correspondents since May 2021. The station said he “played a crucial role in our information mission” and was an “outstanding journalist”.
One of Sarraj’s final tweets, posted on 17 October, said: “A lack of media coverage from Gaza .. due to the killing [of] more than 12 journalists, the bombing, and the blackout of electricity and the Internet. However, we are still trying to withstand and continue coverage so the world can see the israili [sic] crimes in Gaza.”
Al-Shabab (youth) Radio journalist Mohammed Ali was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the northern Gaza Strip.
Khalil Abu Aathra, a videographer for the Hamas-affiliated Al Aqsa TV, was killed with his brother in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah.
Sameeh Al-Nady, also a journalist for Al Aqsa TV, was killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Mohammad Balousha, who worked for Palestine Today, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Al-Saftawi neighbourhood in northern Gaza, the Turkey-based Anadoula agency reported.
Issam Bhar, a journalist for Al Aqsa TV, was also killed in an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza.
Abdulhadi Habib, who worked for Al-Manara News Agency and HQ News Agency, was killed in a missile strike on his home in the south of Gaza City alongside several members of his family.
Yousef Maher Dawas, a contributing writer for Palestine Chronicle and a writer for Palestinian non-profit project We Are Not Numbers, was killed in an Israeli missile strike on his family home.
Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah was killed in southern Lebanon in a missile strike from the direction of Israel, according to the news agency.
A further six journalists – two colleagues each from Reuters, Al Jazeera and Agence France-Presse (AFP) – were injured in the strike.
Abdallah and the other journalists had been providing a live video feed of clashes on the Lebanon-Israel border.
Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan said in a briefing, reported by Reuters, on Friday: “Obviously, we would never want to hit or kill or shoot any journalist that is doing its job. But you know, we’re in a state of war, things might happen.” An Israeli military spokesperson later said they were “very sorry” for Abdallah’s death.
Abdallah, who was Lebanese, was laid to rest in his hometown on Saturday surrounded by dozens of journalists.
Also on Friday, Husam Mubarak, a journalist for Hamas-run channel Al Aqsa, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip.
Ahmed Shehab, a journalist for Radio Voice of the Prisoners, was killed along with his wife and three children when an airstrike hit their house in northern Gaza Strip, according to the CPJ.
Mohammad Fayez Abu Matar was killed whilst covering the Israeli bombing of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. He is a freelance journalist working with international agencies, according to WAFA news agency.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate reported the killing of Mohammed Rizq Sobh (photojournalist), Saeed Al-Taweel (director of the Al-Khamisa news agency) and Hisham Al-Nawajha (correspondent for a news agency in Gaza). They are believed to have all died when Israel bombed the Al Hajji Tower on Al-Mu’asasat Street, west of Gaza City.
Video of the funeral of Al-Taweel and Rizq Sobh has been shared on Twitter by Palestine Online. It shows more than a dozen journalists wearing blue body protector vests marked with press carrying their bodies and flanking the funeral procession.
Palestinian journalists in Gaza take part in the funeral of their fellow Saed Al-Taweel and Mohammed Soboh, who were murdered in an Israeli airstrike targeting a street containing press offices in Gaza City last night. pic.twitter.com/WPlOOe6jQD— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) October 10, 2023
Journalist Salam Mema was killed in an Israeli airstrike on her home in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, and her body was pulled out of the rubble four days later. Her eldest son, aged six, was also killed, while the rescue operation for her daughter is ongoing and her other son survived. Mema was a freelance journalist who was the head of the Women Journalists Committee at the Palestinian Media Assembly.
Assaad Shamlakh was killed along with nine members of his family in an Israeli airstrike on their home in the southern Gaza strip, BBC Arabic has reported.
Roee Idan, a photographer for Israeli news website Ynet, was killed in the Hamas terrorist attack. The 43-year-old captured the early moments of the invasion as terrorists paraglided across the border and sent his footage to Ynet before he was shot and killed, according to The Times of Israel. His wife and one of their children were also killed in the attack on Kibbutz Kfar Aza.
Idan’s body was found more than ten days later. Ynet editor Gido Ran said the news was “hard for us to accept”. “We lost a journalist with a rare eye and an unstoppable desire to get close to the story. He will be missed by us forever.”
Palestinian photojournalist Mohammad Al-Salhi was killed by an Israeli army bullet while covering events at the border east of al-Bureij, in the central Gaza Strip.
Yaniv Zohar, a photographer for the Israel Hayom daily newspaper, was killed alongside his wife and two daughters when Hamas terrorists attacked Kibbutz Nahal Oz, Israel National News reported. Zohar was formerly a videojournalist for the Associated Press at its Israel bureau for 15 years from 2005 to 2020 and the agency’s executive editor Julie Pace described him as “AP’s eyes and ears in southern Israel, always among the first to respond to news in the busy region.
““He was a part of the community where he worked, giving him insights that were invaluable to his colleagues. When tensions rose in the Middle East, colleagues would quickly ask, ‘What does Yaniv say?’”
Mahammad Jarghoun, a journalist with Smart Media, was shot dead apparently by Israeli forces whilst reporting east of Bureij near the border with Israel according to WAFA news agency.
Ibrahim Lafi, 21, from Ain Media news agency was shot dead by Israeli forces reporting near the Beit Hanoun checkpoint on the border with Israel.
Shai Regev, 25, an editor for the gossip and entertainment news section of Hebrew-language daily newspaper Ma’ariv, was killed during the Hamas attack on the Supernova music festival. Ma’ariv editor-in-chief Golan Bar-Yosef said Regev was “talented, creative and full of love” while friend and TMI colleague Noa Rachamim said their staff were “struggling to accept and absorb this horrible news about the death of our Shai, who was a major pillar of all TMI activities and our success”.
Also killed at Supernova was 22-year-old Ayelet Arnin, a news editor with the Kan public broadcaster. Kan said in a statement: “Ayelet started working for us a year ago and was the epitome of professionalism and diligence, and always strived for perfection in her work and was very much loved by all of us.” Arnin previously worked as a news editor for the IDF’s Army Radio.
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