THE TARGETED killing of journalists in Gaza by the Israeli regime claimed the lives of two Al Jazeera journalists on Sunday when the car they were travelling in was hit by two rockets as they were on their way to cover news in the Gaza Strip.
The area they were travelling in had been designated a ‘safe zone’ by the Israeli military – proving once again there is no safety anywhere in Gaza for Palestinians or journalists.
Hamza Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuraya were on assignment for the Al Jazeera news network while a third man in the car Hazem Rajab, a news freelancer, was wounded.
Hamza Dahdouh was the eldest son of Wael Dahdouh, the Al Jazeera bureau chief in Gaza, whose wife, two other children and a grandson had already been killed by an Israeli strike back in October.
This latest targeted killing brings the number of journalists killed by the Israeli occupiers up to at least 79. Writing on social media Christophe Deloire of Reporters Without Borders said: ‘It is a never-ending slaughter’ of journalists.
In a statement, Al Jazeera said it ‘strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces targeting the Palestinian journalists car’ and accused Israel of ‘targeting’ journalists and ‘violating the principles of freedom of the press.’
The statement adds that the assassination ‘confirms without doubt the Israeli forces’ determination to continue these brutal attacks against journalists and their families, aiming to discourage them from performing their mission, violating the principles of freedom of the press and undermining the right to life.’
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for an independent investigation to determine whether they had been deliberately targeted and called for those behind their deaths to be held accountable.
CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator Sharif Mansour said: ‘The continuous killings of journalists by Israeli army fire must end’ adding: ‘The Dahdouh family and their journalist colleagues in Gaza are rewriting what it means to be a journalist today with immensely brave and never-seen-before sacrifices.’
It is precisely this bravery in reporting the truth from Gaza, revealing the inhumanity of the Zionist genocidal war to exterminate the Palestinian people or drive them from their land, that makes journalists a prime target for the Israeli regime.
The Zionist regime has threatened journalists from the beginning of its genocidal war in Gaza, dubbing local journalists as ‘supporters’ of Hamas and therefore legitimate targets.
The only foreign journalists allowed to enter Gaza are those ‘embedded’ with the Israeli military whose sole job is to record the proclaimed ‘victories’ over the Hamas resistance and ignore the fact that the relentless bombing has killed over 22,000 Palestinians with thousands more buried under rubble and not expected to still be alive. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Israeli forces have failed to secure any victory over the Hamas resistance fighters.
With the majority of these deaths being women and children, the horror of Israel’s genocidal programme has been brought home to the world not least by the heroism of journalists who have remained in Gaza to report on this reality.
This heroic refusal to submit was exemplified by Wael Dahdouh who, soon after the news broke of the death of his son, was again live on air, determined to continue reporting despite the devastating personal toll, saying: ‘The whole world must look at what is happening here in the Gaza Strip.’
Despite all the murderous attempts by the Israeli regime and its US imperialist masters, the working class, youth and masses of the world are watching and are overwhelmingly demanding not another useless inquiry into Israeli war crimes but for victory to the Palestinians and the immediate establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Next Saturday, hundreds of thousands of workers and youth will take to the streets of central London in support of Palestine and for an independent state of Palestine. Central to this demonstration must be the demand that the TUC call an immediate general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government that will immediately recognise the state of Palestine and provide the Palestinian masses with the arms required to secure it.
This is the way forward.