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Emotional outburst on stay TV from Gaza over demise of reporter encapsulates collective grief

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KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — The on-air outburst of grief by TV correspondent Salman al-Bashir appeared to channel the temper of all Gaza.

From the crowded halls of Nasser Hospital within the southern Gaza Strip late Thursday, al-Bashir was reporting on the waves of wounded and {dead} Palestinians arriving from Israel’s heavy bombardment on the southern strip.

One of many victims, loaded into the hospital morgue with 10 of his members of the family, was his personal colleague, veteran Palestine TV correspondent Mohammed Abu Hatab, 49. A mere hour earlier, Abu Hatab had delivered a stay report on the Israel-Hamas struggle’s casualties from that very location for Palestine TV, a community owned by the West Financial institution-based Palestinian Authority, Hamas’ political rival.

Looking for phrases to explain what Abu Hatab’s loss meant to him and to the community, al-Bashir cracked with emotion. He broke down, his voice holding sorrow and weariness in gruff, pleading phrases.

“We cant take it anymore, we’re exhausted,” al-Bashir mentioned. “We’re going to be killed. One after the other.”

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The Ramallah-based anchorwoman on the cut up display screen started to weep.

Al-Bashir was flushed, pacing backward as he mentioned the world was ignoring the struggle’s staggering toll on Gaza civilians.

“Nobody is taking a look at us or the extent of this catastrophe or the crimes that we’re experiencing in Gaza,” he mentioned. Nonetheless holding his microphone, he slid off his flak jacket marked with the phrase PRESS and unstrapped his helmet.

“These safety jackets and helmets do not shield us,” he mentioned, flinging the gear to the bottom. “Nothing protects journalists. … We lose our lives for no motive.”

His phrases, streamed stay by Palestine TV, ricocheted round social media.

For the reason that Oct. 7 Hamas assault on southern Israel, the Israeli army’s retaliation has killed over 9,000 Palestinians and wounded 1000’s extra, says the Well being Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza. Amongst them have been 31 journalists and media staff, in keeping with the Committee to Shield Journalists, a New York-based watchdog. The Well being Ministry reported that over 112 docs and medics are additionally among the many {dead}. Hamas militants killed greater than 1,400 individuals in Israel on Oct. 7, most of them civilians.

At 8:30 p.m. Thursday, after signing off from a stay report on Gaza’s hovering demise toll, Abu Hatab headed to his close by residence in Khan Younis the place he lived together with his spouse, six youngsters, brother and brother’s household, his colleagues mentioned.

On his manner, he spoke to the Palestine TV bureau chief, Rafat Tidra.

“He was so skilled, as at all times,” Tidra mentioned. “In that dialog, he was targeted on what he was going to report the following day, how we have been going to work.”

At round 9:30, an Israeli airstrike hit his home, wiping out the Abu Hatab household. Nobody survived. His neighbor’s homes solely sustained restricted harm from the blast.

When requested, Israeli army spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht mentioned he was “not conscious of reviews” of Abu Hatab’s demise. Israel says it goes after militants, not civilians, and blames Hamas for working in densely populated residential areas. Israel’s floor offensive in northern Gaza, which started per week in the past, is geared toward toppling Gaza’s Hamas rulers. On the identical time, airstrikes throughout the territory have continued unabated.

Abu Hatab’s colleagues at Palestine TV, the place he spent 26 years reporting, have been in shock Friday. They remembered him as a quiet and mild man who introduced do-it-yourself hummus to worn-down journalists camped outdoors Nasser Hospital in the course of the struggle, whilst Israel’s tight siege made food and water more durable to seek out.

When the struggle first erupted, he sprang into motion and by no means stopped working, his colleagues mentioned.

“He was stay on air the entire time protecting Khan Younis, his metropolis, his individuals, easy individuals,” mentioned Nasser Abu Bakr, the top of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and Abu Hatab’s long-time pal.

Abu Bakr was unsettled after their last cellphone dialog the night time earlier than his demise. He mentioned Abu Hatab sounded weary and depressed.

“He instructed me, ‘Every little thing is horrible. ‘I do not know after I shall be killed,’” Abu Bakr recalled.

Earlier than hanging up, he mentioned, Abu Hatab had one final request: “Please, please, pray that God protects us.”


DeBre reported from Jerusalem.

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