Journalists Under Fire: Jabr Abu Hadros, Gaza-based reporter bombed with family

By Humaira Ahad

In the last week of December 2023, the Israeli regime dropped bombs powerful enough to destroy the entire neighborhood around journalist Jabr Abu Hadros’ home in northern Gaza.

Eyewitnesses said it was a targeted attack to kill the Palestinian journalist who had been exposing the horrendous war crimes of the occupying regime in the besieged coastal strip.

Abu Hadros was working as a reporter for the Quds Al-Youm broadcast network in Gaza.

He was killed along with seven members of his immediate family on December 30 in an Israeli airstrike that destroyed his home in Nuseirat refugee camp in northern Gaza.

“We pulled Jabr from the rubble. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the messenger of Allah were his last words, and he ascended as a martyr,” a fellow journalist attending Abu Hadros’ funeral said.

Abu Hadros was popular among journalists in northern Gaza for his fearless reporting of the Israeli regime’s genocide in the blockaded and bleeding territory, especially since October 7.

A well-known journalist, his colleagues remember him as a person who was dedicated to upholding the truth through his work and exposing the atrocities inflicted upon his brethren in Gaza.

Before October 7, Abu Hadros’ work mainly focused on exposing the hardships faced by Palestinian refugees. He would very often report on the everyday struggles faced by the people of Palestine under the occupying regime.

In his stories, the Palestinian journalist often highlighted the resilient spirit of Palestinians fighting for justice and liberation of their occupied land.

Name: Jabr Abu Hadros

Occupation: Journalist

Residence: Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza

Killing: 30-12-2023

In the media fraternity of Gaza, Abu Hadros was highly regarded for his integrity and commitment to unbiased storytelling. His colleagues described his death as a void that would be hard to fill.

“Throughout his career, Abu Hadros fearlessly reported on the realities faced by marginalized communities, highlighting their struggles. Like me and all correspondents we are all on Jabr’s path,” said a journalist, while displaying Abu Hadros’ press vest and media equipment.

“This press vest will not protect you, not from planes, not from the tanks of the occupation, not from warplanes or drones.”

More than 120 journalists have been killed since Israel launched its relentless bombing of the Gaza Strip 116 days ago. However, the Palestinian officials in Gaza say the number could be much higher.

“Our message to the whole world is: all the journalists in the world are protected when they wear a press vest, except us in Gaza. Here the vest is a signal to kill journalists…and the world is silent,” said a Gaza-based journalist, mourning the killing of his colleague by the regime forces.

Chip Gibbons, policy director of Defending Rights & Dissent Policy Director, an NGO defending the rights and civil liberty of individuals, said that media and press freedom organizations have found irrefutable evidence that the Israeli military has been intentionally targeting Gazan journalists.

In a vigil held on Tuesday in Washington for journalists killed in Gaza, Freedom of the Press Foundations (FPF) Deputy Advocacy Director Caitlin Vogus said, “Protecting journalists matters not only because all civilian life should be protected during wartime.”

“It matters because protecting journalists also protects the world’s right to know about what’s happening in Gaza,” she remarked.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an NGO that works to safeguard journalists around the world, has filed two complaints with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes committed by the Israeli army against Palestinian journalists in Gaza.

“RSF has reasonable grounds to believe that the journalists named in this complaint were the victims of attacks amounting to war crimes,” the group said referring to the second complaint that was filed on December 22. The first complaint was filed on October 31.

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