The killing of journalists in Gaza is an “unimaginable tragedy”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, without issuing a condemnation or demanding accountability from Israel.
Blinken’s remarks came in response to a question during a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha about the son of Al Jazeera journalist Wael al-Dahdouh, Hamza al-Dahdouh, who was killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza.
“I am deeply, deeply sorry for the almost unimaginable loss of your colleague Wael Dahdouh. As a parent myself, I can’t begin to imagine the horror that he has experienced, not once, but now twice,” Blinken said.
Al Jazeera correspondent Wael al-Dahdouh had already lost several family members in Israeli attacks on Gaza. On 25 October, al-Dahdouh’s wife, 15-year-old son, seven-year-old daughter and an infant grandson were killed in an Israeli strike on their home in the south, despite Israel declaring the area a safe zone before the attack.
Al-Dahdouh learned of the deaths of his family members while reporting live on air, and said his family had been targeted because of his work.
His son Hamza, also a journalist, was killed in a direct Israeli air strike on a vehicle carrying journalists in the southern city of Khan Yunis. His colleague, Mustafa Thuraya, was also killed in the attack.
Following his the death of his son, Wael al-Dahdouh returned to the conflict zone on Monday to continue covering the ongoing war.
At least 79 journalists and media workers have been confirmed among the more than 23,000 killed since the conflict began on 7 October, according to the latest data released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), making this the deadliest period for journalists since CPJ began tracking the situation in 1992.
According to the Gazan administration, 110 journalists have died as a result of Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip since 7 October.