‘Don’t be sad father, expose them’: Wael Dahdouh’s son posted, days before he was killed in Gaza

Wael Dahdouh has emerged as a symbol of the resilience of Palestinian journalists trying to report on the conflict.

WrittenBy:NL Team
A cutout of Wael Dahdouh with a still from a video posted by his son.

Over two months after most of his family was killed in an Israeli airstrike, and nearly a month after he was allegedly injured in a missile attack, Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh has now lost his eldest son allegedly in another airstrike.

Hamza Dahdouh, who was a journalist in his 20s, was killed in the western part of Khan Younis along with journalist Mustafa Thuraya when the vehicle they were travelling in near al-Mawasi, a supposedly safe area towards the southwest, was reportedly struck by a missile.

The vehicle came under attack while the two journalists were trying to interview displaced Palestinians, according to Al Jazeera.

Few names resonate with the resilience of Al Jazeera’s Wael Dahdouh, whose life and career has emerged as a testament to the perils faced by Palestinian journalists trying to report on the conflict. After his wife, son, daughter, and grandson were killed in October, he returned to his work the same day, determined to tell the stories of Palestinian displacement and Israel’s brutal bombings. Even after he was injured in December, he resumed reporting immediately.

After his eldest son Hamza’s death, he seemed slightly resigned. “Hamza was everything to me, the eldest boy, he was the soul of my soul… these are the tears of parting and loss, the tears of humanity,” he said. But he resumed reporting hours later.

Hamza had one million followers on Instagram. His final post before he was killed was about his father, two days before his death. “You are steadfast and patient, father. Do not despair of God’s mercy. Be certain that he will reward you well for being patient,” he wrote, with a picture of his father wearing a press helmet. 

Last week, he posted a video on behalf of his deceased younger brother Mahmoud, who was killed in October. “Don’t be sad father, be strong and expose them,” said the voice-over.

Wael Dahdouh spеnt his childhood in еastеrn Gaza and was arrеstеd by thе Israеli occupation forcеs during thе First Intifada, according to the Middle East Monitor. His jail sentence changed him, he said, and he joined Al Jazeera in 2004 after working with several Palestinian outlets.

Meanwhile, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, “As of January 7, 2024, CPJ’s preliminary investigations showed at least 79 journalists and media workers were among the more than 23,000 killed since the war began on October 7 – with more than 22,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the West Bank and 1,200 deaths in Israel.”

However, Arab portals point to numbers higher than 100 – “an average of more than one killed a day” since 7 October, according to The New Arab.

Earlier, a Reuters probe had alleged that Israeli tank fire had targeted clearly identified journalists in Lebanon, killing its journalist Issam Abdallah and injuring six other reporters.

Meanwhile, a video published by a rights group showed Israeli forces killing two Palestinians civilians “who did not appear to pose a threat” in the West Bank. The subsequent online outrage ostensibly prompted the Israeli authorities to open a military police investigation in the matter. 

The Israeli troops also said that they “mistakenly” killed three Israeli hostages in Gaza, purportedly perceiving them as threats. The three were among the estimated 240 Israelis taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza.


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