An Al Jazeera journalist has died after being badly injured during an Israeli attack in southern Gaza and then forced to wait five hours for medical attention, the network said on Friday.
Camera operator Samer Abu Daqqa died of wounds sustained in the attack, the Qatar-based network said, adding that he was bleeding for hours before medical personnel could reach him due to heavy shelling in the city.
Dahdouh was eventually evacuated to a hospital, but Abu Daqqa’s injury was too severe to survive, according to Walid Alomari, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief for Jerusalem and the West Bank. “Too many in Gaza bleed and die because ambulances can’t reach them,” he said.
Al Jazeera said it did not have further information about Abu Daqqa’s injuries due to poor telecommunications in the area.
Abu Daqqa and Dahdouh were on assignment in the southern city of Khan Younis when they came under fire. Daddouh later said they had been hit by a drone strike.
At least 17 others were killed and dozens of others were injured early Friday morning after artillery fire struck the city’s Haifa school and a residential home in the area.
Three civil defense workers in Gaza whose rescue efforts at the school were being covered by the al Jazeera team were also killed, according to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Interior.
Khan Younis has been heavily bombarded by the Israeli military since a fragile truce between Hamas and Israel broke down on 1 December.
The IDF on Thursday called on people in Gaza to move from parts of Khan Younis to displacement shelters in the same area to “ensure safety,” the latest in a series of social media messages from the IDF telling Palestinians to flee from one place to another to avoid the Israeli offensive against Hamas.
IDF Arabic spokesperson Avichay Ardaee posted on X telling people in Khan Younis to move from several “blocks” in the city to three shelters for displaced people in western part of the area and warned against using eastern roads due to IDF advances.
Al Jazeera on Friday aired a video of Dahdouh receiving treatment at a hospital for wounds in his right arm and abdomen, where the veteran journalist can be seen crying out in pain.
It’s not the first time tragedy has struck Dahdouh while covering the siege of Gaza. In October, Al Jazeera reported that an Israeli airstrike killed Dahdouh’s wife, son and grandson. He received the news while he was on air.
As of December 15, preliminary investigations by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found at least 64 journalists and media workers were among the thousands killed in Gaza since Israel’s siege began on October 7, following Hamas’ deadly terror attacks.
The majority of journalists killed in this war have been Palestinians, alongside four Israeli and three Lebanese members of the press, according to CPJ. Thirteen journalists have also been reported injured, 13 are missing, and 19 have reportedly been arrested, the organization said.
‘Why don’t you join your family abroad?’
Abu Daqqa’s colleagues have been paying tribute to his bravery following his death, with Al Jazeera investigative reporter Tamer Al-Mishal describing him as “professional” and “a great cameraman and editor [who] doesn’t fear anything.”
“I spoke to him a few days ago and told him ‘Why don’t you join your family abroad?’ And he told me they will be back soon when this war is over,” Al-Mishal said.
Abu Daqqa had decided not to leave Gaza, Al-Mishal added, noting that the cameraman had worked for more than 20 years for Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera aired video showing the journalist’s friends and family crying over his body at the Al Nasser medical complex near Khan Younis. His mother Umm Maher was seen being carried by two people saying, “He hasn’t seen his children, he hasn’t seen his children.”
Abu Daqqa’s wife and children – three boys and a daughter – are currently in Belgium, according to Al Jazeera.
“We miss a great dear friend and father of three [boys] and a girl… Yes, he had an opportunity to work in Belgium, but he favored his beloved Gaza over Belgium,” Alomari said.