Head of Al Jazeera Gaza Bureau Loses Wife, Son, Daughter, and Grandson in Israeli Airstrike
In a tragic turn of events, Wael Al Dahdouh, the head of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau, lost his wife, son, daughter, and grandson in what he claims to be an Israeli airstrike. The incident occurred on Wednesday when an explosion hit a house in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, where the family sought shelter after being displaced.
Al Jazeera reported the devastating news, stating, “Members of our colleague Wael Al Dahdouh’s family, including his wife, son, and daughter, were martyred in an Israeli bombing.” The news organization also shared that his grandson, Adam, was pronounced dead two hours later.
CNN, however, cannot independently confirm the source of the explosion, and Al Jazeera did not provide any direct evidence linking it to an Israeli attack. CNN reached out to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for comment, but no response has been received as of yet.
Heartbreaking footage shows Al Dahdouh in tears as he stands over his son’s lifeless body, wrapped in a white sheet. The distraught journalist was also seen carrying his small grandson’s body through Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Gaza.
The Al Dahdouh family had been displaced from Tal El Hawa to the Nuseirat refugee camp, hoping for a safe haven. Israel’s leaders have pledged to eliminate Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, in response to the deadly attacks in early October. The onslaught claimed the lives of 1,400 people, predominantly civilians, and left over 200 hostages.
The prolonged siege on Gaza has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, with aid groups describing the blockade isolating the enclave from the world. Israeli airstrikes have devastated entire neighborhoods, obliterating homes, schools, and mosques.
Recent CNN drone footage revealed the extent of the destruction, capturing leveled streets in Gaza City’s al-Rimal neighborhood and a row of demolished buildings known as al-Zahra towers.
According to Hamas-controlled Gaza health authorities reported by the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah, more than 6,400 people have been killed, and another 17,000 have been wounded in Israel’s ongoing aerial bombardment of the overcrowded territory.
The death of Al Dahdouh’s family members has been widely condemned by defense groups. The International Press Institute (IPI) referred to the news as “horrible and outrageous” in a statement and extended their deepest condolences to Wael Dahdouh.
Since the conflict’s onset, at least 24 journalists have lost their lives, as confirmed by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Of those killed, twenty were Palestinians, three were Israelis, and one was a Lebanese journalist.
Among the victims was Roshdi Sarraj, a producer at the French national public radio station Radio France. Sarraj had been collaborating with the station’s correspondents since May 2021. The IDF, when approached for comment, emphasized that they follow international law and take precautions to minimize civilian casualties, unlike Hamas, which intentionally targets Israeli civilians.
The loss of innocent lives in Gaza continues to horrify the international community. The conflict shows no signs of abating, leaving countless families devastated and further perpetuating the cycle of violence.