Samer Abudaqa, a cameraman and editor for Al Jazeera, was killed during an Israeli attack in Khan Younis on 15 December, announced Al Jazeera. The attack, which occurred at Farhana School in the center of Khan Younis, has sparked outrage and grief among journalists and human rights advocates.
Abudaqa, who joined Al Jazeera in June 2004, was on duty with fellow journalist Wael Dahdouh when the drone attack happened. While Dahdouh was able to reach a hospital for treatment, Abudaqa, critically injured, remained trapped amidst widespread destruction in southern Gaza, preventing immediate rescue efforts, reported Al Jazeera.
According to Al Jazeera, coordination was required with the Red Cross to ensure safe passage for rescuers to reach Abudaqa as Israeli bombardment was continuing. However, it took more than five hours for rescuers to safely reach Abudaqa, who succumbed to his wounds before medics could reach him.
A father of four, Abudaqa was born in 1978 and was a resident of Abasan al-Kabira near Khan Younis.
Dahdouh, whose wife, son, daughter and grandson were all killed by Israel in October, is receiving medical care at Nasser Hospital after suffering shrapnel wounds to his upper arm, reported Al Jazeera.
In response to the incident, Hamas condemned Israel’s “horrific war crimes” and demanded Israel to be held accountable. Israel has not commented on the killing of Abudaqa and the injury of Dahdouh.
Meanwhile, Tim Dawson, Deputy General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, said the killing raised concerns regarding press freedom.
“I think this is now a press freedom issue,” said Dawson. “I think we have to ask ourselves ‘What is the IDF are tying to achieve? Why won’t they let foreign journalists in?”
On 8 December, the International Federation of Journalists, which represents journalists worldwide, said that 68 journalists had been killed covering the war on Gaza, repreesnting 72 percent of all media deaths worldwide.