About 20 relatives of our colleague Wael Al-Dahdouh were martyred during the wars in Gaza (Al-Jazeera)

Al Jazeera's bureau chief and correspondent in Gaza, colleague Wael Al-Dahdouh, revealed new details of what he witnessed in the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Strip for the 137th day.

Our colleague Wael spoke - in an interview with the “Questions of the Event” podcast on the “Atheer” platform of Al Jazeera Media Network - about the morning of last October 7, when the Palestinian resistance launched the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation, indicating that he realized that “a big matter "Happens" after massive rocket launches towards Israel.

Al-Dahdouh added, "I told my family to prepare for a war that might last from 3 to 4 months, and I left for the Al-Jazeera office, while scenes of storming Israeli sites began to unfold, as well as scenes of Israeli prisoners being brought into the Strip."

Al-Dahdouh expressed his belief that the Palestinian resistance “did not realize that its operation would be this successful,” and that the Israeli response was not within the limits of what could be expected.

Our colleague Wael - who witnessed all of Israel's wars on the besieged Strip during the past two decades - added that the Israeli response came in the form of "collective revenge", targeting residential towers, vital civilian institutions and infrastructure.

Despite this, Al-Dahdouh believes that “after October 7 will never be the same as before,” pointing to the collapse of the occupation’s “prestige” that has been passed down through generations, on the one hand, and the exposure of Israel’s true face, “even in the strongholds that support its narrative in the West.” On the other hand, as he put it.

Intelligence prosecution

What can be called the “Nakba of the Al-Dahdouh family” occupied a space in the “Questions of the Event” dialogue, starting with the Nuseirat massacre, which claimed the lives of a large number of members of the Al-Dahdouh family, including his wife and two of his children in addition to his infant grandson, passing through the destruction of his house, then his injury and the martyrdom of his colleague. Photographer Samer Abu Daqqa before his eyes, then the martyrdom of his eldest son, journalist Hamza Al-Dahdouh.

Colleague Wael revealed that Israeli intelligence continues to pursue survivors from his family after the massacre that occurred at the end of the third week of the war, pointing out that he transported a number of survivors from his family with him to Gaza City.

He said, "Either we live together or we die together," but Israeli intelligence called his daughter's phone while they were in Al-Shifa Hospital, and told her of the need to go south, noting that their move to Nuseirat from the beginning was within the framework of seeking to take refuge in the areas that the occupation urged civilians to go towards. As "safe".

Martyrdom of Samer Abu Daqqa

In the context of his talk about the details of his injury and the martyrdom of fellow Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa, Al-Dahdouh said that they went to a hot area in Khan Yunis with a team from the Palestinian Civil Defense, which was on a rescue mission in coordination with the Red Cross, which confirmed the existence of approval from the Israeli side.

Wael pointed out that the massive scale of destruction in the area forced the civil defense team to make a decision to proceed with the mission on foot.

While Wael and Samer were walking with 3 paramedics, and despite prior coordination, monitoring, and careful escort by Israeli occupation army aircraft and drones, the group was subjected to a violent raid, which Wael later realized had caused him to be thrown away and to lose consciousness and hearing for a period, before he realized that his arm was bleeding severely. .

Wael said, "What dominated my thinking and imagination at those moments was that another missile would come now, given our experience with Israeli behavior, especially if the first missile did not serve their purpose."

He added, "I said to myself at that moment: This is the end, Abu Hamza," noting that the raid had resulted in the immediate martyrdom of the three paramedics, while Samer was lying on a far side, and he noticed that his head was moving and alive.

Wael continued: "In my condition, I realized that I would not be able to help him, and that he would not be able to do it, and the second missile would hit us moments later, so I decided to try to reach the ambulance location to ask for help."

In addition to the difficulty of ambulances entering the area due to the widespread destruction, Wael pointed out that the intensive communications that began immediately from Gaza, Jerusalem, and Doha to accelerate the coordination process to rescue Abu Daqqa were dealt with by the occupation with a policy of procrastination.

Despite Israeli approval, the Red Cross refused to provide an ambulance for the Palestinian Red Crescent and accompany it in the rescue operation, according to Wael.

Wael said, “Between the Israeli approval and the request for ambulances, it took between 5 and 6 hours, and when they went they found that our colleague Samer had been martyred, may God have mercy on him, and they found, and this is what is new; they found that Samer had been freed from the press shield, He tried to crawl, but they targeted him with another missile and he was martyred.”

The miracle of patience

With great pain, Wael spoke about the martyrdom of his eldest son, Hamza, in a direct attack on the car in which he was traveling with one of his colleagues in Rafah, on the seventh of last January.

Wael considered that what is happening in Gaza is “beyond what humans can bear,” and that the people of the besieged Strip are determined to be patient and steadfast despite this, “and are even keen to create life as much as they can.”

He said: "With simple calculations, there is no way to bear all this pain, and there is no explanation or logic at all, but perhaps God Almighty is the One who binds hearts."

Wael pointed out that his departure from the Gaza Strip gave him the ability to see the broader picture of the effects of what is happening in the Gaza Strip on the world, pointing out that Israel’s image has been shaken even in the main strongholds supporting its narrative in the West.

He added that the changes brought about by the war on the world "if all the capabilities, all the media, and all the satellite channels had been allocated to them, they would not have happened."

Return to Gaza

Regarding returning to field work in Gaza, Al-Dahdouh said, “Dismounting is not included in the dictionary, and Gaza remains the basis,” noting the difficulty of his injury in his right arm, which requires a year of medical follow-up after nerve reconstruction surgery, to return to about 60. % of efficiency, according to optimistic estimates by doctors.

He concluded by saying: "We hope to God that it will return to the way it was and better. Therefore, the options are not completely clear at the present time, but our hearts are attached to the Gaza Strip and Palestine, and perhaps things will become clearer in the coming weeks, and in the end it will be just a warrior's rest."

Source: Al Jazeera