The Qatar-based network described the incident as an “assassination” while pointing to the deliberate targeting of Dahdouh and his family.
Al Jazeera condemned Israel’s assassination of Hamza Dahdouh, the eldest son of the network’s bureau chief Wael Dahdouh on Sunday, calling for “immediate necessary legal measures against the occupation forces”.
“The assassination of his [Wael] son Hamza in January 2024 confirms without a doubt the Israeli forces’ determination to continue these brutal attacks against journalists and their families, aiming to discourage them from performing their mission, violating the principles of freedom of the press and undermines the right to life,” the network said in a statement.
Israel killed Hamza, 27, along with Palestinian journalist Mustafa Thuraya, in a direct missile strike in western Khan Younis in Gaza.
The Israeli forces targeted the journalists’ vehicle as they were heading to Al-Mawasi, an area that had been presumed to be safe, according to Al Jazeera.
“Hamza was everything to me, the eldest boy, he was the soul of my soul… these are the tears of parting and loss, the tears of humanity,” Dahdouh said after burying his son.
The bereaved journalist returned on air in the evening after burying his son to continue his reporting of the ongoing Israeli atrocities in Gaza.
Since October 7, Israel has killed at least 23,084 Palestinians in Gaza while injuring 58,926 others, according to the latest figures by the Strip’s health authorities.
The killing of Hamza is the third such attack on Dahdouh and his family members.
On October 25, Israel 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 found out about the killing of his family members while he was reporting on live television and said his family were targeted for his job. Al Jazeera had issued a statement at the time condemning the targeting of its journalist’s family members.
Dahdouh then survived a missile strike on December 15 in Khan Younis, where Al Jazeera’s cameraman, Samer Abu Daqqa, succumbed to his injuries after being left to bleed for six hours.
Israeli forces prevented medics from reaching him with nonstop shelling and the ambulances had to receive prior approval to reach Abu Daqqa, according to Al Jazeera.
Dahdouh’s arm was injured by a shrapnel from the Israeli air strike and Palestinians managed to get him to the Nasser Hospital in Gaza, where he underwent surgery in his arm.
Al Jazeera referred the case to the International Criminal Court, the network announced in a statement on December 16.
“The Israeli occupation forces has systematically targeted our colleague Wael Al Dahdoh and his family[…]The assassination of his son Hamza in January 2024 confirms without a doubt the Israeli forces’ determination continue these brutal attacks against journalists and their families, aiming to discourage them from performing their mission,” Al Jazeera said in its latest statement.
The total number of Palestinian journalists killed since October 7 has now gone up to 109, Gaza’s media office confirmed.
The United States, Israel’s closest ally, has failed to condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians and the press.
The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “deeply, deeply sorry” over the “loss” of Hamza at a press conference in Doha on Sunday.
Blinken’s remarks came in a joint press conference in Doha with Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
“I am deeply, deeply sorry for the almost unimaginable loss suffered by your colleague, Wael Dahdouh. I am a parent myself, I can’t begin to imagine the horror that he has experienced, not once, but now twice,” Blinken said.
Israel has also been targeting the press covering the cross-border attacks in southern Lebanon.
Israel had killed Reuters videographer, Issam Abdallah, on October 13 and severely injured six other international press members, including Al Jazeera’s, during their coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah attacks in Alma Al-Chaab in the Tyre governorate, southern Lebanon.
Another Israeli air strike on November 21 then killed Al Mayadeen’s correspondent, Farah Omar, alongside cameraman Rabih Me’mari in Tayr Harfa, South Lebanon.
On December 23, Al-Manar crew survived an Israeli strike on Al-Khardali area, south of Lebanon.