Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abudaqa has been laid to relaxation in southern Gaza, with dozens of mourners, together with journalists, paying their respects to the cameraman killed in an Israeli drone assault.
The funeral was held on Saturday within the metropolis of Khan Younis. Abudaqa’s household, mates and colleagues bid a tearful farewell as his physique was lowered into the bottom.
Abudaqa, a cameraman for Al Jazeera Arabic in Gaza, was hit in an Israeli drone assault whereas reporting at Farhana college in Khan Younis. His colleague, Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Wael Dahdouh, who misplaced his spouse, son, daughter and grandson in a previous Israeli bombing, was wounded.
Journalists in Gaza are carrying a “human and noble message” for the world amid the continuing conflict and can proceed to work regardless of Israeli assaults, Dahdouh stated in his eulogy.
“We’ll proceed to do our obligation with professionalism and transparency,” he stated, as mourners round him wept.
On Friday, Dahdouh was hit by shrapnel on his higher arm, and managed to stroll to Nasser hospital alone, the place he was handled for minor accidents. He stated the community’s crew was accompanying civil defence rescuers on a mission to evacuate a household after its residence was bombed.
“We captured the devastating destruction and reached locations that had not been reached by any digicam lens for the reason that Israeli floor operation began,” Dahdouh stated from his hospital mattress.
Because the Al Jazeera journalists had been heading again on foot as a result of the areas weren’t accessible by automobile, Dahdouh stated “one thing large” occurred that knocked him to the bottom.
After the explosion, Dahdouh stated he pressed on his wounds and walked out of the world to get assist, however by the point he reached an ambulance, medics stated they might not return to the positioning of the assault as a result of it was too harmful.
Subsequent efforts to coordinate a protected passage to ship rescuers for Abudaqa had been delayed, Dahdouh stated, including that one ambulance that attempted to achieve the cameraman got here below hearth.
“We obtained within the ambulance, I requested them to return to the place I used to be as a result of Samer was nonetheless there and he was screaming and he was calling for assist,” Dahdouh stated earlier than listening to information of Abudaqa’s killing.
“He obtained injured within the decrease a part of his physique however the paramedics advised me that we have to depart instantly and that they are going to ship one other ambulance in order that we gained’t be all focused.”
On Friday, the Al Jazeera Media Community condemned the assault and prolonged its condolences to Abudaqa’s household in Gaza and Belgium.
It stated in a press release that it “holds Israel accountable for systematically concentrating on and killing Al Jazeera journalists and their households”.
“In right this moment’s bombing in Khan Younis, Israeli drones fired missiles at a college the place civilians sought refuge, leading to indiscriminate casualties,” the community stated.
“Following Samer’s damage, he was left to bleed to dying for over 5 hours, as Israeli forces prevented ambulances and rescue employees from reaching him, denying the much-needed emergency therapy,” the assertion added.
‘Nothing to guard journalists’
The 2 journalists labored along with Al Jazeera Arabic since earlier than the conflict.
“[Samer] and Wael make up a really skilled, robust crew on the bottom, documenting every part and bringing all of the information and reside footage of what the Palestinian folks have been going by way of,” Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud stated.
“However notably with this conflict, given its depth in scale and magnitude and the sheer quantity of destruction, they’ve been on the forefront of overlaying each little element that one might need forgotten about,” he added.
Mahmoud stated on Saturday that “there’s nothing to guard journalists throughout the Gaza Strip”, with an rising quantity focused instantly or by way of their households “simply to inflict a lot ache on them that it prevents them from persevering with”.
“It is a horrific crime – a direct concentrating on,” stated Ibrahim Qanan, a reporter for the pan-Arab community al-Ghad. “The primary missile hit Samer and he tried to crawl for 200 metres, however the Israeli warplanes hit him once more and instantly, so he turned a martyr and his physique was reduce into items.
“It is a crime, day and evening, towards journalists and towards the media shops who’re working to disclose the Israeli occupation’s crimes within the Gaza Strip.”
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, who’s reporting from Ramallah within the occupied West Financial institution, stated he and a variety of his colleagues test their telephones within the morning very first thing after waking as much as see if all their colleagues on the bottom are nonetheless alive.
“That is actually the message I’ve taken away from all of our colleagues in Gaza: They get up each morning with a dedication to proceed reporting,” he stated. “I’m really in awe of it.”
Al Jazeera journalists focused
Abudaqa and Dahdouh aren’t the primary Al Jazeera journalists who’ve been attacked whereas overlaying a narrative.
The primary was Palestinian journalist Tarek Ayoub, who was killed in 2003 because of accidents he suffered in a US bombing of Al Jazeera’s constructing in Baghdad, through the Iraq conflict.
Different Al Jazeera journalists have additionally been killed in Libya, Syria and Yemen. The community has established a monument at its headquarters in Doha: a metal tree sculpture with leaves carrying the names of the reporters.
“There’s no approach round bullets, there’s no approach across the bombs,” Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud famous.
“However some issues must be documented. The story of Gaza and its folks must be advised to the world, and that’s most likely the most important motivator for the journalist group in Gaza, regardless of the approaching menace to their lives.”
Abudaqa joined Al Jazeera in June 2004, working as a cameraman and editor.
The journalist, born in 1978, was the daddy of three boys and a lady. He was a resident of the city of Abasan al-Kabira close to Khan Younis.
Abudaqa is the thirteenth Al Jazeera journalist killed on obligation for the reason that launch of the community in 1996.
On Friday, White Home nationwide safety spokesperson John Kirby expressed Washington’s “deepest sympathies and condolences” for the killing of Abudaqa, as worldwide requires accountability, for Israel’s killing of journalists since October 7, develop.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian consultant to the United Nations, stated “sufficient is sufficient” after Abudaqa’s killing.
The Committee to Shield Journalists (CPJ) stated it was “deeply saddened” and referred to as for an impartial investigation into the assault.
The press freedom group highlighted that the battle in Gaza is the deadliest for journalists it has ever recorded.
“We’re outraged by the excessive value, I might say the acute value, that Palestinian journalists are paying,” the CPJ’s Carlos Martinez de la Serna advised Al Jazeera, including that there was a “clear prevailing sense of impunity.”
“We want worldwide, impartial investigations to evaluate all these killings and people accountable must be accountable,” stated de la Serna. “It’s important to keep in mind that journalists below worldwide humanitarian legislation are civilians, and the duty on all events concerned within the conflict is to guard them, and what we’re seeing, is that journalists are being killed.”
The Worldwide Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stated it was “shocked” by the assault, in a put up on X.
An IFJ report revealed final week discovered that 72 % of journalists who died on the job this yr had been killed within the Gaza conflict.
“We condemn the assault and reiterate our demand that journalists’ lives should be safeguarded,” the group added.