Al Jazeera Journalist Bleeds To Death After Israeli Strike In Gaza, Outlet Says

Camera operator Samer Abudaqa was killed while reporting at a school in the southern city of Khan Younis.

The news outlet Al Jazeera said Friday that one of its camera operators, Samer Abudaqa, was killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza and left for hours bleeding to death.

Abudaqa was reporting with his colleague Wael Dahdouh at a school turned shelter in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza, on Friday when they were hit by the strike. Dahdouh is being treated for minor injuries from shrapnel.

In a statement, the Qatar-based network said it condemns the attack “in the strongest terms” and “holds Israel accountable for systematically targeting and killing Al Jazeera journalists and their families.”

The network described a brutal end to Abudaqa’s life.

“Following Samer’s injury, he was left to bleed to death for over 5 hours, as Israeli forces prevented ambulances and rescue workers from reaching him, denying the much-needed emergency treatment,” Al Jazeera said in a statement.

In audio shared by the network, one of his colleagues recounted through tears how hard it was for Abudaqa to be away from his family during the Israel-Hamas war.

“Samer’s wife and kids were in Belgium,” Al Jazeera journalist Youmna ElSayed said. “Just before the war, he was able to go to Belgium for the first time and see his kids and wife for the first time after six years. When he returned and the war started, he was relieved that at least his kids and wife were not in Gaza to live through all this horror and terror. And he was just waiting for the war to end so that he can go to them.”

She continued: “There’s nothing to describe our pain. Samer was really a special person to all of us, and a very good friend.”

Smoke rises from Israeli air strikes on the city of Khan Younis, Gaza, on Friday.
Smoke rises from Israeli air strikes on the city of Khan Younis, Gaza, on Friday.
Ahmad Hasaballah via Getty Images

The International Federation of Journalists also denounced the deadly strike, saying, “We condemn the attack and reiterate our demand that journalists’ lives must be safeguarded.”

Abudaqa is now one of more than 90 media workers killed on the job this year, according to the IFJ’s count, with at least 68 of them dying while covering the Israel-Hamas war since the Oct. 7 attack on the country.

Khan Younis, the second-largest city in Gaza, has become the epicenter of the conflict in recent weeks, despite it being one of the main areas where Palestinians are fleeing for safety. One analysis of satellite data showed that approximately 20% of structures in Khan Younis had likely been damaged or destroyed by Monday.

The Israel Defense Forces say that’s because the “entire leadership of the Hamas terrorist organization — both military and political — proliferated in the area.”

Palestinian officials say that Israeli forces have killed nearly 19,000 people in Gaza, nearly half of them children. Israeli officials say that over 1,100 people died in Hamas’ October attack on the country.

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