Al-Jazeera’s Bureau Chief Wael Al-Dahdouh’s son murdered by Israel

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: It’s been over 90 days since Israel began its genocide in Gaza. Day in and day out, hundreds of civilians are brutally killed, children are maimed and families are torn apart. And as the genocide rages on, Israel has waged a second war and that is against the journalists. In the past three months, 111 journalists have been killed in Gaza. That is more than the number killed in the 6 year long World War 2 and the 20 year long war in Vietnam. And there is one man in particular who has had to suffer tragedy after tragedy, simply for doing his job. Al-Jazeera’s Bureau Chief, Wael Al-Dahdouh’s son Hamza was murdered by a targeted Israeli airstrike.

Hamza’s murder came just weeks after Israel admittedly targeted the Al-Dahdouh family which killed Wael’s wife, his 15 year old son Mahmoud, his seven year old daughter Sham, and his grandson. The world watched as the grief stricken journalist laid his family to rest. However, yet another tragedy would strike when Wael and his cameraman Samar Abu Daqqa were attacked. Wael survived but had to bid farewell yet to another close friend.

It seemed as though there was nothing left that could hurt the 53 year old Palestinian journalist. He continued to do his job, not letting his family’s sacrifice go in vain and beside him was his 27 year old son Hamza. It was clear that as a son Hamza adored his father Wael and was following in his father’s footsteps. However, that too was short lived.

On the 7th of January, Hamza and his colleague Mustafa Thuraya, were traveling in their car to cover an airstrike when they were targeted and killed. Wael Al-Dahdouh lost yet another child. The world watched, yet again in horror, was Wael said his final goodbye to his son, his “eldest child, the soul of your soul.”

In the video of Hamza Al Dahdouh’s funeral, his surviving sister can be seem hugging her father and begging him to stay because he was all that they had left.

After his son was murdered, Wael has made the following statement, “Nothing hurts more than the pain of losing someone you love very much in your heart. This is our destiny, our choice on this earth and we must accept it, whatever it may be, as we continue, we say goodbye to our loved ones but what can we say. For Hamza and all the martyrs we will honor the vow, we will continue along the same path, we water the earth with our blood but we will not stop. We can feel pain, we can suffer and nothing is more painful than losing your eldest child, the soul of your soul. We are overflowing with humanity, and our enemy is overflowing with death and resentment, what moves us is humanity, and what moves our enemies is hate.” And just like before, despite the tragedy, Wael returned to work.

Wael Al Dahdouh is just one of countless stories that have come out of Gaza. With each passing day there is an even more urgent need for an immediate ceasefire.

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