The UN voiced alarm on Monday at the many journalists killed in the war in Gaza, a day after two Al Jazeera reporters died in an alleged Israeli strike on their car. Al Jazeera on Sunday said two of its Palestinian journalists were killed in the southern city of Rafah, in what it claimed was an Israeli “targeted killing.”
“Very concerned by high death toll of media workers in Gaza,” the UN rights office said on X, formerly Twitter. “Killings of all journalists, including Hamza Wael Dahdouh and Mustafa Abu Thuria in reported IDF strike on car must be thoroughly and independently investigated to ensure strict compliance with international law, and violations prosecuted,” it said.
Hamza Wael Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuria, who also worked as a video stringer for AFP and other news organisations, were killed while they were “on their way to carry out their duty” for Al Jazeera in the Gaza Strip, the network said.
A third freelance journalist, Hazem Rajab, was seriously injured. Witnesses told AFP that two rockets were fired at the car – one hit the front of the vehicle and the other hit Hamza who was sitting next to the driver. The Israeli army told AFP that it had “struck a terrorist who operated an aircraft that posed a threat to IDF troops”, adding that it was “aware of the reports that during the strike, two other suspects who were in the same vehicle as the terrorist were also hit”.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 79 journalists and media professionals, the vast majority Palestinian, have been killed since the war began. The October seven Hamas attack which triggered the war resulted in about 1,140 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.
The militants, considered a “terrorist” group by the US and European Union, also took around 250 hostages, 132 of whom remain captive, Israel says. At least 24 are believed to have been killed. Israel has responded with relentless bombardment and a ground invasion that have killed at least 23,084 people, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry’s latest toll. AFP