Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Gaza strikes kill family members of journalist targeted by death threats

Gaza strikes kill family members of journalist targeted by death threats
Smoke rises following Israeli strikes on the Tal Al Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City, 02 November 2023. More than 9,000 Palestinians and at least 1,400 Israelis have been killed, according to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian health authority, since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October, and the Israeli operations in Gaza and the West Bank which followed it. EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Deadly strikes hit the Gaza home of a news photographer days after an Israeli media advocacy group questioned his coverage of Hamas' Oct. 7, prompting death threats against him on social media.

Yasser Qudih, who survived the strikes on the night of Nov. 13, said four projectiles hit the rear of his house, killing eight family members.

The attack was five days after the Nov. 8 report by HonestReporting questioning whether Qudih, a freelance photographer, and three other Gaza-based photographers had prior knowledge of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

Reuters strongly denied HonestReporting’s speculation, as did other international news organisations identified in the report.

Qudih had provided photos to Reuters during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas gunmen although he was not a Reuters staff photographer.

Qudih said he had returned home barely an hour before the strikes on his house which were seconds apart, and without warning, at around 7:50 p.m. (1750 GMT).

“Israel attacked my home,” he said. Asked why, he added: “I don’t know.”

Reuters could not verify who was responsible for the strikes, why Qudih’s home in southern Gaza was targeted or whether the strikes were linked to HonestReporting’s Nov. 8 report.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which has launched a military offensive in Gaza in response to the Oct.7 attack, declined to say whether its forces had conducted the strike and, if so, what the target was.

“The IDF is currently focused on eliminating the threat from the terrorist organization Hamas. Questions of this kind will be looked into in a later stage,” it said, in answer to questions from Reuters.

In a statement, Reuters said it was “deeply saddened “to learn of the deaths of Qudih’s family members. It also said HonestReporting made “baseless accusations” against Qudih.

“Thereafter, numerous threats against his safety circulated online. HonestReporting later accepted that its accusations were unfounded,” Reuters said.

“The situation on the ground is dire, and the IDF’s unwillingness to give assurances about the safety of our staff threatens their ability to deliver news about this conflict without fear of being injured or killed.”

 

TWO-STOREY HOUSE

HonestReporting’s Nov. 8 report prompted the Israeli prime minister’s office to say the journalists were accomplices in “crimes against humanity”. Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz suggested they should be treated as terrorists and hunted down, and a former Israeli envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said they should be “eliminated”.

After issuing its report, Honest Reporting’s executive director, Gil Hoffman, told Reuters on Nov. 10 that his organisation accepted as “adequate” statements by Reuters and other media organisations cited in its report that they had no previous knowledge of the attack.

HonestReporting did not respond to requests for comment on the attack on Qudih’s home. Requests were submitted by Reuters to HonestReporting on Thursday.

In a reply to Reuters on Thursday, Danon, a member of Israel’s governing Likud party, reiterated his initial remark when asked about the strikes on Qudih’s home.

“Every terrorist who illegally entered our communities on Oct. 7, every individual who arrived with the vile murderers who brutally assassinated, raped, mutilated, burnt and kidnapped their way through the south of Israel will meet the same fate,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that the Israeli military follows international law and takes “feasible precautions to mitigate civilian harm”.

Gantz’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Hamas did not comment on the attack on Qudih’s home.

Qudih told Reuters he lived in a two-storey house that was home to only him and his immediate and extended family. About 20 people were at home during the strikes, which left a large crater in a yard behind the house and destroyed one side of the building.

The director of Nasser Hospital, the main hospital serving the area where Qudih lived, confirmed to Reuters that the names and ages of the eight family members killed were listed among the dead registered with the hospital.

 

(Reporting by Reuters, Writing by Mark Bendeich, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Ajay San says:

    He was able to photgraph and report on the Oct 7th massacre and if so was an accomplice

  • Awareness Publishing Mike says:

    Aren’t you tired of having to listen over and over again to the “Audio sponsored by Stand Up Business podcast”, before having any of these articles read aloud to you? What’s more, listening on iPhone, in most cases I find I am forced to listen to the 10 seconds ad TWICE before being able to play the article. So, it’s “press play, listen to the 10 seconds repeating humour of the one and laughter of the other, then press play again, and listed to it all over again”. And one is forced to listen hundreds of times to this 10 seconds annoying advertisement, because Daily Maverick has not provided any “skip” or “move on” facility. After having been forced to listen to the two’s laughter too many times, I have completely lost the appetite of ever listening to Mark Barnes or Business Maverick editor Tim Cohen ever again. And sorry for bringing it up here, but I have written to Daily Maverick many times about it, but they have done nothing about it. Don’t you agree?

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.