Wael Al-Dahdouh

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Wael Al-Dahdouh
وائل الدحدوح
Dahdouh wearing a press vest while reporting in the Gaza Strip in December 2023
Born
Wael Hamdan Ibrahim Al-Dahdouh

(1970-04-30) April 30, 1970 (age 53)
NationalityPalestine
Other namesAbu Hamza
Alma materIslamic University of Gaza
Al-Quds University
OccupationJournalist
EmployerAl Jazeera
AwardsPeace Through Media Award (2013)

Wael Hamdan Ibrahim Al-Dahdouh (Arabic: وائل حمدان إبراهيم الدحدوح, romanizedWāʾil Ḥamdān Ibrāhīm al-Daḥdūḥ; born April 30, 1970), sometimes referred to in the Arab world by the kunya Abu Hamza (أبو حمزة, Abū Ḥamza), is a Palestinian journalist and the bureau chief of Al Jazeera in Gaza City.[1][2]

His career, beginning in 1998, also spanned working for Al-Quds newspaper, acting as a correspondent for Voice of Palestine, in the Second Intifada against the Israeli occupation, and as a correspondent for Al Arabiya, with his role with Al-Jazeera starting in 2004. He received the Peace Through Media Award in 2013.

Numerous members of Al-Dahdouh's family have been killed by the Israeli military during the Israel–Hamas war. His wife, seven-year old daughter, and 15-year old son were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Nuseirat refugee camp on 28 October 2023, in addition to eight of his other relatives. On 15 December 2023, while Al-Dahdouh and his cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa were covering the Haifa School airstrike in Khan Yunis, they were hit by an Israeli missile, injuring Dahdouh and fatally wounding Abu Daqqa. Despite the death of many family members and his injury, he quickly returned to reporting on the war after both incidents.[3] His son, journalist Hamza al-Dahdouh, was killed by an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis on 7 January 2024,[4] and two of his nephews were killed in an airstrike the following day.[5]

Early life and education

Wael Hamdan al-Dahdouh was born on April 30, 1970, in the Zaytoun neighborhood, the oldest neighborhood of Gaza City in the Israeli occupied Gaza Strip. He grew up in a well-off Gazan family, whose origins are from the Arabian Peninsula. He received his primary and secondary education in several schools in Gaza City. He spent seven years in Israeli prisons immediately after obtaining his high school diploma in 1988. He again obtained a high school diploma in an Israeli prison. He received BA in journalism and media from the Islamic University of Gaza in 1998, after Israel prevented him from traveling to study abroad he received a master's degree in regional studies from Al-Quds University, Abu Dis, in 2007.[6]

Career

Al-Dahdouh started work for the press in 1998. He worked for the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds as a correspondent in Gaza, and wrote for other Palestinian magazines, then worked as a correspondent for the radio Voice of Palestine, as well as for Sahar satellite channel at the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000. He also worked as a correspondent for the Al Arabiya in 2003, then moved to work as a reporter and official in the Al-Jazeera office in the Gaza Strip since 2004.[6]

Killings of family and colleagues

Al-Dahdouh was broadcasting live during the Israel–Hamas war when he learned that several of his family members had been killed in an Israeli airstrike in October 2023.[7] His wife, his daughter Sham (aged 7), his son Mahmoud (aged 15),[8] and a grandchild were killed, along with 21 other people. They were residing in Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.[9][10] They had moved there following a warning from Israel to evacuate from the north of Gaza.[11] His other son, Yehia, was seriously wounded,[12] and Al Jazeera reported that at least eight of his other relatives were also killed in the air raid.[13] In video footage uploaded by Gaza photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, Al-Dahdouh is seen holding his deceased grandson while three relatives mourn.[14]

On 15 December 2023, while Dahdouh and his colleague cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa were covering the Haifa School airstrike in Khan Yunis, they were hit by an Israeli missile. Dahdouh was evacuated and treated for shrapnel injuries, but Abu Daqqa, who was seriously wounded, was unreachable as Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching him; he bled to death many hours later. Despite the death of many family members and his injury, Al-Dahdouh quickly returned to reporting on the war after both incidents.[3][15][16]

A surviving son, journalist Hamza al-Dahdouh, was killed by an Israeli airstrike alongside colleague Mustafa Thuraya in Khan Younis on 7 January 2024.[4] Hamza was 27, and was Dahdouh's eldest son.[17] The IDF bombed Hamza's car because Thuraya had been using a camera drone to film the aftermath of an earlier airstrike, stating they had "struck a terrorist who operated an aircraft that posed a threat".[5] Al Jazeera condemned the attack as an assassination and alleged that the IDF has "systematically targeted" Dahdouh's family.[17] The IDF claimed that Hamza was an operative of PIJ.[18] The accusation was not independently verified and was rejected by the families of Hamza and Mustafa, as well as by Al Jazeera who described it as "false" and a "fabrication".[19] One other journalist was seriously injured in the bombing.[19] The day after the airstrike, two of Wael al-Dahdouh's nephews—brothers Ahmed al-Dahdouh, 30, and Muhammad al-Dahdouh, 26—along with a third man were killed when their car was bombed.[5]

At the request of the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate in Cairo, Al-Dahdouh was granted permission to evacuate to Egypt via the Rafah Crossing and then Doha via Al-Arish Airport for medical treatment on 16 and 17 January 2024.[20] Four of his children had crossed to Egypt the week prior.[21]

Awards and honors

  • Peace Through Media Award (2013) by the International Media Awards in London[22]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Al Jazeera Gaza office destroyed". Archived from the original on 2021-06-28. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  2. ^ "وائل الدحدوح". Archived from the original on 28 June 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Two Al Jazeera journalists wounded in Israeli attack in southern Gaza". Al Jazeera. 15 December 2023. Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  4. ^ a b "War on Gaza: Son of Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief killed by Israeli air strike". Middle East Eye. 2024-01-07. Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  5. ^ a b c "Israeli strike kills Al Jazeera journalist's nephews". Dawn. 2024-01-09. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  6. ^ a b "Israel wants to control media output from Gaza, but can't". 15 June 2021. Archived from the original on 28 June 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  7. ^ Boyle, Cash (2023-10-28). "Al Jazeera journalist who lost his family in Gaza airstrike returns to work". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 2023-10-30. Retrieved 2023-10-31.
  8. ^ Salhani, Ali Haj Suleiman,Justin. "Arab world speaks out on killing of Al Jazeera journalist's family". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 2023-10-26. Retrieved 2023-10-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Israel-Hamas live updates: 6,500 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza". Al Jazeera. 2023-10-24. Archived from the original on 2023-10-26. Retrieved 2023-10-26.
  10. ^ Salam, Erum (2023-10-25). "Family of Al Jazeera correspondent killed in Israeli airstrike in Gaza". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2023-10-26. Retrieved 2023-10-26.
  11. ^ Scott, Liam (2023-10-27). "Gaza Journalist Continues Reporting After Family Dies in Israeli Airstrike". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 2023-10-31. Retrieved 2023-10-31.
  12. ^ "Al Jazeera journalist grieves loss of 3 generations of his family in Gaza". CBC. 2023-10-26. Archived from the original on 2023-10-31. Retrieved 2023-10-31.
  13. ^ "The Take: Wael Dahdouh's family was killed in Gaza. He kept reporting". Al Jazeera. 2023-10-27. Archived from the original on 2023-10-30. Retrieved 2023-10-31.
  14. ^ Karanth, Sanjana (2023-10-25). "Israeli Airstrikes Kill Al Jazeera Reporter's Family In Gaza". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 2023-11-15. Retrieved 2023-11-15.
  15. ^ "Al Jazeera's Wael al-Dahdouh injured in Israeli Gaza strike". The New Arab. 2023-12-15. Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  16. ^ "Two Al Jazeera journalists wounded in Gaza missile strike - reporter". Reuters. December 15, 2023. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  17. ^ a b Salam, Yasmine (2024-01-08). "Palestinian vows to keep reporting after losing another son in an Israeli strike". NBC News. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  18. ^ "Al Jazeera 'journalists' in Gaza were terrorists, IDF proves in document". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. 2024-01-10. Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  19. ^ a b Khalil, Shaimaa; Gritten, David (2024-01-11). "Gaza journalists' families reject Israeli military's 'terrorist' claims". BBC News. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  20. ^ "Al Jazeera's veteran journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh arrives in Qatar for medical treatment". Arab News. 17 January 2024. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  21. ^ "Al Jazeera Bureau Chief Leaves Gaza". Agence France-Presse. 16 January 2024. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  22. ^ ""وائل الدحدوح" يفوز بجائزة دولية". 12 May 2013. Archived from the original on 28 June 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2021.

External links