January 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

Slain Gaza ‘Journalists’ Were Terrorists

January 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

Slain Gaza ‘Journalists’ Were Terrorists

Latest Developments

Two Palestinians claimed by Al-Jazeera as its journalists, who were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza, were revealed to have been members of terrorist groups. Mustafa Thuraya and Hamza Al-Dahdouh died in a January 7 precision strike on their car near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. At the time, Al-Jazeera, Qatari’s international media mouthpiece, accused Israel of “targeting” journalists and “violating the principles of freedom of the press.” Both men were described as videographers. Yet the IDF said the two had operated drones that posed a threat to its troops.

Thuraya was a Hamas deputy squad commander in the dominant Palestinian terrorist group’s Gaza City Brigade, the IDF said in a follow-up statement on January 10, citing a document discovered during the military offensive. Al-Dahdouh — whose father, Wael, is Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza — was a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) electronic engineering unit and previously a rocket-crew commander for the terrorist group, the IDF said, publishing a PIJ personnel list on which he appeared.

During the more than three-month-old Gaza war, Hamas has used drones for battlefield surveillance and to air-drop munitions on Israeli forces.

Expert Analysis

“The killing of a journalist during a war against terrorism is a tragedy. A combatant posing as a journalist while prosecuting a terrorist war against a democracy is a travesty. Al-Jazeera must be held to account for the lethal duplicity of its staff, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was quick to voice condolences over Al-Dahdouh’s death, might now reflect on whether this was warranted.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Palestinian regimes — whether that of Hamas or Abbas — do not foster free discourse or reporting. The putative ‘journalists’ working under them must go along to get along, and it should be no surprise that some cross the line and use their professional mantle as cover for terrorism. Western observers should ask themselves why Gaza, a small place with such a high concentration of media professionals, has been so strikingly lacking in investigative exposes about, say, Hamas’s seizure of international aid and redirection of humanitarian funding to its very obvious network of terror tunnels and rockets arsenals.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations have long used journalists as a tool to get a message across to the Israeli public and, at times, to the international community. In 2018, during the March of Return, Gaza journalists routinely embedded with Palestinian terrorists launching incendiary-laden balloons and infiltrating the Israeli border. Sadly, this relationship has gone unnoticed by many, particularly those in the West, who fail to recognize the strong link between terrorism and these so-called journalists that dates back many years.” —Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas Developing Precision-Guided Munitions With Iranian Help,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Uses Gaza Hospital as Headquarters,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Terror Tunnel Next to UNRWA School in Gaza Destroyed,” FDD Flash Brief


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