A photo of the martyred journalists Hamza Al-Dahdouh (left) and Mustafa Thuraya (Al-Jazeera)

Haaretz newspaper published a report by Israeli writer Amira Hass, in which she recounted the details of the martyrdom of Palestinian journalists Hamza al-Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuraya on Sunday, January 7, in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip.

She stated that she had sent questions to the Israeli army inquiring about the circumstances of the killing of the two journalists, and about the "mass killings" in the raging war in the Gaza Strip.

She said that she waited about two and a half days until she received a response from the army spokesman, who came “this time in an unusually detailed manner,” specifically about the killing of Hamza and Mustafa.

It quoted the spokesman as claiming that the names of the two journalists were included in lists of members of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Islamic Jihad, which he claimed were found by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

He attached a scanned copy of a document that allegedly contained Al-Dahdouh's name, but he did not attach a document containing Thuraya's name.

Evasive answers

As for other inquiries that Hass sent to the army spokesman’s unit related to the mass murder committed against Palestinians, she received “general and evasive answers,” as she described it.

Hass went on to narrate the details of what she knew about the incident, and said that in the early hours of the morning of Sunday, January 7, a building in the village of Al-Nasr, north of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, was bombed, in which all members of the Abu Al-Naja family, displaced from the Gaza Strip, were staying. Several regions.

On its Facebook page, the Abu al-Naga family published the news of the martyrdom of 15 of its members, namely Haj Saleh Abu al-Naga, his wife, 7 of their children, and a number of grandchildren.

When journalists and photographers arrived there shortly before noon, the last bodies of the victims were being pulled from under the rubble, before neighbors carried them with blankets to the ambulance.

Soraya launched a small drone to take pictures.

According to Hass, at approximately 11 a.m., a drone fired a missile at the group of journalists, which exploded near them, wounding “only” two of them, according to the army spokesman’s account, and the journalists thought it was a warning missile asking them to move away from the place.

Intentional murder

The wounded were transferred with the bodies to an ambulance that sped off to the city of Rafah, followed by a black Skoda car, carrying 3 journalists and a driver.

Suddenly, on Omar Bin Al-Khattab Street in Rafah, a second missile was launched from a drone, hitting the car and killing the driver Qusay Salem and the journalists Thuraya and Hamza Al-Dahdouh, while the third journalist was seriously injured.

Amira Hass described the killing of the two journalists as an act that, this time, exceeded the limits of indifference, as Hamza is the eldest son of Wael Al Dahdouh, Al Jazeera’s correspondent, whom she described as a veteran, and what happened brought to mind the incident of the martyrdom of his wife, daughter, son, and grandson last October.

She pointed out that last week, Palestinian, Arab and international media spoke about Wael’s personal tragedy and his return to broadcasting his reports live after the burial of his loved ones.


Haas stated that, for this reason, she also asked the Israeli army spokesman’s unit to comment on what many journalists concluded that the army did this in retaliation against Wael Al-Dahdouh.

She criticized the speaker's answer that the army attacked a "target" as a retaliation, describing what was stated in it as "unfounded (...) allegations."

She said that she also asked about the reasons for bombing the home of the Abu al-Naga family, and the army spokesman’s answer was a repetition of responses to previous incidents when he was asked about the killing of many families inside their homes, which was, “We are not aware of an attack on a house in the Al-Nasr neighborhood as mentioned in the inquiry. We will conduct it.” "We will investigate the events when we receive additional details."

She expressed her belief that the reason that prompted the army to provide “alleged” details in such detail about the killing of the two journalists lies in the uproar that the incident caused in the media.

Amira Hass stated that the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate questioned the validity of Israeli allegations that Dahdouh and Thuraya are members of the Islamic Jihad movement and Hamas movement, respectively.

Source: Haaretz