Al Jazeera’s Wael Dahdouh’s mother dies after he wins global award

Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh
Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh during the funeral of his eldest son Hamza, also an Al Jazeera journalist, at Rafah, Gaza, on 7 January 2024. Image: AJ video screenshot/@josef.basam

Pacific Media Watch

The mother of Al Jazeera’s award-winning Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh has died at a hospital in Gaza due to illness, reports Al Jazeera.

Dahdouh, who has become a symbol for the perseverance of Palestinian journalists in Gaza, had lost his wife Amna, son Mahmoud, daughter Sham and grandson Adam to an Israeli air raid in October.

Dahdouh was later wounded in an Israeli drone attack that killed his colleague, Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abudaqa. He is currently being treated for his injuries in a hospital Doha, Qatar.

Last month, his eldest son, Hamza — a journalist who worked with Al Jazeera — was also killed in an Israeli attack alongside fellow journalist Mustafa Thuraya, a freelancer.

Last Friday, India’s Kerala Media Academy announced that its Media Person of the Year award has been given to Wael Al-Dahdouh in recognition of his exceptional journalistic courage.

‘Global face of courage’
The academy said in a statement that Al-Dahdouh was “a global face of journalistic courage, who continues to work despite the heavy losses borne by his family”.

Anil Bhaskar, secretary of the academy, told Arab News that Al-Dahdouh was recognised for his fearless reporting that allowed the world see the “true picture of the catastrophe” in Gaza.

“His commitment and bravery are exemplary and set an example for other journalists not only in India but all over the world,” Bhaskar said.

According to UN reports, more than 122 journalists and media workers have been among more than 27,000 people killed in Israel’s nearly four-month offensive in Gaza.

Press freedom watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists said last month that journalists were being killed in Gaza at a rate with no parallel in modern history and that there was “an apparent pattern of targeting of journalists and their families by the Israeli military.”

‘Struggling to keep alive’
Meanwhile, Ayman Nobani, reporting from Nablus in the occupied West Bank, says Palestinian journalists are “struggling to keep alive”.

He reported that Shorouk al-Assad, a member of the general secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, as saying that journalists in the besieged coastal enclave were living through unprecedented times as they were being targeted by Israeli forces.

“The most important challenge today is the survival of journalists in light of their targeting and bombardment by Israel, in addition to the killing of their families, the destruction of their neighbourhoods, and the death of their colleagues,” she told Al Jazeera.

She also said:

  • At least 73 media offices have been bombed since October 7;
  • All of Gaza’s radio stations are no longer operating due to bombardment, power outages, or the killing or displacement of staff;
  • Only 40 journalists remain in northern Gaza and they are besieged and isolated, with no means to send food or relief items to them; and
  • Some 70 journalists have lost close family members

Earlier reports have indicated 78 Palestinian journalists have been killed in the Israeli war on Gaza, many of them targeted.

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