Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Al Jazeera journalists Wael Dahdouh and Samer Abudaqa were wounded in what is believed was an Israeli missile attack at a school in Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Friday, according to the outlet.

Dahdouh, whose wife, son, daughter and grandson were killed in an airstrike in October, was wounded by shrapnel in his upper arm and rushed to receive medical care at Nasser Hospital.

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Abudaqa was also critically injured, but medical teams remain unable to reach him as of publication, according to Al Jazeera. His colleagues with him were “totally terrified and afraid that he might lose his life,” according to the outlet. Around 6:30 p.m. local time, an ambulance was dispatched for him after it received approval from Israeli forces, but it had to turn back because rubble blocked the road, the news outlet reported. Arrangements were being made to get a bulldozer to clear the path as of 7:30 p.m.

TIME has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces regarding the reports.

On Oct. 25, Dahdouh received the news while on air that his immediate family was killed when the home they were sheltering in was hit by an airstrike. He returned to work just days later.

Friday’s incident underscored the war’s deadly toll on Gazan journalists, who are striving to survive the same dangers and deprivations they’re covering. Since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostage, Israeli’s airstrike campaign and ground offensive in Gaza has killed more than 18,000 people, the Hamas-run health ministry said.

Read More: Palestinian Journalists Offer a Rare Glimpse Into Life in Gaza. But for How Long?

At least 63 journalists and media workers have also died as of Dec. 15, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported. The grim tally includes the deadliest month for journalist deaths in a conflict since the organization began gathering data in 1992.

Nonprofits have pushed for more protections for the press. The International Federation of Journalists said it was “deeply shocked” to hear about Friday’s injuries. “We condemn the attack and reiterate our demand that journalists’ lives must be safeguarded,” it said in a post on X.

In one of the first press deaths of the war, a Reuters video journalist was killed in Lebanon on Oct. 13. A Reporters Without Borders investigation claimed the journalists’ vehicle, with its clear press marking, was targeted. The IDF told TIME on Nov. 4 that the incident was under review. The day before the journalist’s death, they had requested that the U.N.’s peacekeeping force verify there were no civilians in the combat zone. They added that entering combat zones “creates a real and immediate danger to civilian lives.” On that day, the IDF used tank and artillery fire in response to a missile that hit Israel’s security fence, the statement said.

Other journalists from Al Jazeera, whose headquarters are in Qatar, have been injured or killed previously while covering Israel-Palestinian conflict. Last year, a U.N. body determined that Israeli forces shot and killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank, not indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians as initially claimed by Israeli authorities, the international agency said.


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