Al Jazeera journalist finds out his wife, son and daughter killed in Israeli airstrike while on air

Wael Al-Dahdouh’s loved ones were all killed in the blast in Gaza, in an area where they had fled to for safety, Al Jazeera reported

Barney Davis
Thursday 26 October 2023 07:32 BST
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Moment Al Jazeera announce death of colleague's family live on air

An Al Jazeera reporter covering the war in Israel was on air when he was told his wife and children had been killed in an airstrike.

Wael Al-Dahdouh reported on the same attack in Gaza on Wednesday evening without knowing his family had been killed, in an area they had fled to for safety after Israel’s warning of a ground incursion.

The Gaza bureau chief lost his son Mahmoud, a senior in high school, and his seven-year-old daughter Sham in the blast, his network said.

Palestinians inspect the damage of destroyed buildings following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City,

Al-Dahdouh’s grandson Adam was declared dead two hours later, Al Jazeera later reported. Other members of his family are still missing in the rubble.

The journalist had stayed in Gaza City to cover the war while his family fled south to seek safety and stay with relatives at the Nuseirat Camp.

“This is the condition of the entire Palestinian people,” he told reporters after he had learned of his family’s deaths. “There is no safe space in Gaza at all and no-one is safe. No-one is safe from the treachery and aggression of the occupation.”

The Palestinian health ministry said the airstrike killed at least 25 people. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

The latest deaths came amid reports US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had asked the Qataris to "turn down the volume” on the state-owned Al Jazeera’s coverage “because it is full of anti-Israel incitement”, according to AXIOS. Israel has accused Al Jazeera of being "a propaganda mouthpiece" for Hamas in the past.

Palestinians try to put out a fire at a destroyed area following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City

In a statement, the network said: “The Al Jazeera Media Network extends its sincere condolences and sympathy to our colleague Wael Al-Dahdouh on the loss of his family in an Israeli airstrike.

“The indiscriminate assault by the Israeli Occupation forces resulted in the tragic loss of his wife, son, and daughter, while the rest of his family is buried under the rubble.

“Their home was targeted in the Nuseirat camp in the centre of Gaza, where they had sought refuge after being displaced by the initial bombardment in their neighborhood, following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for all civilians to move south.

“Al Jazeera is 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. We urge the international community to intervene and put an end to these attacks on civilians, thereby safeguarding innocent lives.”

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