Israel has killed more than 116 journalists since the start of its genocidal war on Gaza.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza Ismail Abu Omar and cameraman Ahmed Mattar have been injured in an Israeli drone strike in Miraj, northern Rafah on Tuesday which targeted them as they wore their press vests to report on Israel’s latest atrocities.
The Qatar-based network confirmed the targeting of its journalist and cameraman in a live broadcast, saying both were seriously injured in the attack. Abu Omar and Mattar were transferred to the European Hospital where they will undergo surgery.
The broadcaster also confirmed that doctors will amputate one of Abu Omar’s legs. Harrowing footage online showed the press crew bleeding on the ground before being rushed to the hospital.
Al Jazeera’s other correspondent in Gaza, Moamen Al Sharafi, said the journalists were directly and deliberately targeted by occupation forces in the area which had been declared as a safe zone by Israel.
On December 6, Israel killed 22 of Al Sharafi’s family members in an attack on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.
The attack on Al Jazeera’s crew is the latest incident where journalists covering the ongoing genocide in Gaza are being targeted by Israel. Since the start of the war, Israel killed 28,473 Palestinians, including more than 116 journalists, according to Palestine’s news agency (Wafa).
Commenting on the latest attack, Gaza’s government media office said it came “within the framework of intimidating journalists and a failed attempt to obscure the truth”.
Al Jazeera’s crew have been subjected to numerous attacks and threats to harm them and their families.
Israel killed four family members of prominent Al Jazeera journalist and Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh on October 25.
Israel had killed Dahdouh’s wife, 15-year-old son, seven-year-old daughter and infant grandson in a strike in the south, despite Israel announcing the area to be a safe zone before the attack.
Dahdouh was then injured on December 15 in an Israeli airstrike at the Farhana school in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, where Al Jazeera’s cameraman, Samer Abu Daqqa, was killed.
Abu Daqqa succumbed to his injuries after Israel left him to bleed for six hours by preventing medics from reaching him with nonstop bombing and the ambulances had to receive prior approval to reach him.
Israel then killed Dahdouh’s eldest son, Hamza, on January 7 when it targeted his vehicle in Gaza alongside Palestinian journalist Mustafa Thurayya. Dahdouh was evacuated from Gaza to Doha on January 16 to receive medical treatment for his critical injury from the previous attack.
On October 19, Israel killed 19 family members of Al Jazeera Arabic’s broadcast engineer, Mohamed Abu Al-Qumsan, during a massacre at the Jabalia camp.
The Israeli attack killed Al-Qumsan’s father, two sisters, eight nephews and nieces, his brother, his brother’s wife and their four children, his sister-in-law, and one uncle.
Meanwhile, on October 18, the Israeli attorney general reportedly approved a ban on Al Jazeera’s local bureau before it backtracked on its decision the following month over Qatar’s key role in mediating the release of captives from Hamas in Gaza.
Beyond Al Jazeera, other journalists had to evacuate Gaza after receiving threats from Israel, such as prominent photojournalist Motaz Azaiza and Plestia Alaqad.