US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called their deaths an “unthinkable tragedy”
Army of Israel claimed on Wednesday (10/1) that two Palestinian journalists working for Qatar's Al Jazeera television network were killed in a strike in the Gaza Strip.were directly linked to “terrorist” organizations, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Hamza Dakhtouh and Mustafa Thuraya – the latter, a cameraman and journalist, working with various international media, including Agence France-Presse – were killed on Sunday, when the car they were traveling in was hit in the southern part of the Palestinian enclave, where they had gone to report for Qatar TV.
“Before the strike, the two piloted drones that posed a direct threat to Israeli troops,” Chahal said in a statement, according to AFP. When AFP asked what kind drones they used and what exactly was the nature of the “threat”, the Israeli army replied that it would “look into” this issue.
Hamza Dakhtouh and Mustafa Thuraya “identified as members of terrorist organizations Gaza,” he argued.
Intelligence sources “confirmed that the two dead were members of terrorist organizations based in Gaza and were actively involved in attacks against Israeli forces.”
The families of the two men and Al Jazeera did not have reacted so far.
According to eyewitnesses, the car they were traveling in was hit by two missiles while driving on a road. A third journalist and the driver were injured.
Mustafa Thuraya, in his thirties, had been working with AFP since 2019 on the piece, as well as with other international media outlets.
Hamza Dakhtouh was the son of Al Jazeera's bureau chief. strong> in the Palestinian territories, of Wael Dakhtouh, an important figure in the journalism world in the Gaza Strip, who was already mourning his wife Umm, a son, a daughter and a grandson, who were killed in October in an Israeli bombardment. Also, two of his nephews were killed on Monday.
The Israeli military presented Mustafa Thuraya as “a member of the Hamas brigade in Gaza City, a deputy battalion commander in the Battle of Qadisiya” and Hamza Dakhtouh as “a terrorist of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who was actively involved in the organization's terrorist activities”.
According to the same source, “documents” “found in the Gaza Strip” reveal “his role in an electronic engineering unit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad” and that he was the “deputy commander” of a cell responsible for launching rockets, among others from “the battalion of Zaitoun”.
After the deaths of its two journalists, Al Jazeera “strongly condemned the targeting by Israeli occupation forces of the Palestinian journalists' car” and accused Israel of “violating the principles of freedom of the press “.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called the death of the two journalists “an unimaginable tragedy”.
At least 79 journalists and media professionals, the vast majority of them Palestinians, have been killed since the Israel/Hamas war broke out on October 7, according to the NGO Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).