In a devastating turn of events, Wafa news agency reported the death of Palestinian reporter Mohammad Abu Hasira, along with 42 family members, in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City. This marks the deadliest month for journalists since record-keeping began, with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) confirming at least 37 journalist fatalities since the start of the conflict.
The CPJ’s count includes 32 Palestinians, four Israelis, and one Lebanese journalist. While the circumstances of their deaths are still under investigation, the CPJ is including them in their tally.
Israel’s warning to international news organizations Reuters and AFP last month, stating an inability to guarantee the safety of journalists in the Gaza Strip, raised concerns. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) asserted that they were targeting Hamas throughout Gaza but accused the group of placing military operations in proximity to journalists and civilians.
AFP, whose office in an 11-story building was severely damaged in an air strike, called on Israel to investigate the incident. The strike on an international news agency’s office sends a troubling message to journalists working in challenging conditions in Gaza, said AFP boss Fabrice Fries.
The toll on journalists continues to rise. Mohammad Abu Hatab, a correspondent for Palestine TV news channel, lost his life in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, along with 11 family members. His colleague Salman Al-Bashir, emotionally responding to the tragedy on air, emphasized the vulnerability of journalists even with protective gear.
Hamas attacks also claimed the lives of two Israeli photographers, Roee Idan and Yaniv Zohar, along with their families. In another incident, reporters Shai Regev and Ayelet Arnin lost their lives during a Hamas attack on the Supernova music festival.
The IDF expressed regret for Issam Abdallah’s death and is actively investigating the incident. The toll of the conflict extends beyond journalists, with over 10,300 people killed during Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. The conflict, initiated in response to Hamas’ October 7 attack, has resulted in significant loss of life and continues to raise international concerns.