Samer Abudaqa: Al Jazeera cameraman killed in Gaza drone strike

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By Vicky Wong
BBC News

The funeral has been held of an Al Jazeera cameraman who was killed by an Israeli drone strike on Gaza.

Samer Abu Daqqa was wounded in the strike on a school in Khan Younis on Friday along with his colleague, Wael Al-Dahdouh.

Al Jazeera said Abu Daqqa bled to death because a heavy bombardment prevented paramedics from reaching him.

The Qatar-based network said he was its 13th journalist to die on duty since it was created in 1996.

Dahdouh, who lost several family members in an earlier Israeli bombing, survived the attack.

During his eulogy at this colleague’s funeral, Dahdouh said journalists in Gaza would “continue to do our duty with professionalism and transparency”.

He said that journalists in Gaza were carrying a “human and noble message” for the world amid the ongoing war and would continue to work despite Israeli attacks.

According to Al Jazeera, Dahdouh was hit by shrapnel on his upper arm and managed to walk to Nasser hospital for treatment.

Abu Daqqa also suffered shrapnel injuries, but paramedics struggled reach him as the area was under heavy bombardment from Israeli forces.

Al Jazeera said the cameraman was “left to bleed to death for over five hours,” adding it held Israel accountable for targeting its journalists and their families.

Abu Daqqa joined Al Jazeera in June 2004, working as a cameraman and editor.

He had three sons and a daughter, and lived in the town of Abasan al-Kabira near Khan Younis.

Al Jazeera’s managing editor, Mohamed Moawad, described Abu Daqqa as “a skilled professional but a compassionate soul who understood the power of visual storytelling”.

“His unwavering commitment to truth and storytelling has left an indelible mark on our team,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 64 journalists – mostly Palestinians – have been killed since the Israel-Gaza conflict began on 7 October.

The Foreign Press Association (FPA), which represents several hundred journalists working for international news organisations, said it grieved the cameraman’s death. saying he was the first FPA member to be killed in the Israel-Gaza conflict.

“We consider this a grave blow to the already limited freedom of the press in Gaza and call on the army for a prompt investigation and explanation.”

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