IDF pushes back on claims it killed journalists

Military reports forces in Gaza uncover proof Hamza al-Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuria acted for the Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza and were more than just reporters

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit addressed a claim on Wednesday that two Palestinian journalists, Hamza al-Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuria, were killed in an IDF strike in the Rafah area on Sunday. The IDF reported that information available to the military indicates that both individuals were operatives of terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and were involved in promoting terror activities against the military.
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According to the military, the two terrorists had operated drones posing a direct threat to IDF forces. In response, forces targeted the terrorists with a directed airstrike.
2 View gallery
חמזה ואאל חמדאן אל דחדוח ומצטפא ת׳ריא
חמזה ואאל חמדאן אל דחדוח ומצטפא ת׳ריא
Mustafa Thuria, Hamza al-Dahdouh
According to the IDF, Thuria was a terrorist in Hamas' Gaza City Battalion. A document discovered in the area during the war reveals the organizational structure of all members of Hamas' forces, indicating Mustafa's name alongside his role in the organization as the deputy commander of a terrorist cell.
In addition to Tharia, Hamza al-Dahdouh, who also served as an operative in the Islamic Jihad, carried out terror attacks against Israel. Documents discovered by the IDF during the war indicate that al-Dahdouh is listed among the PIJ's electronic engineers.
The documents further reveal that al-Dahdouh previously served as the deputy commander of a platoon in the organization's battalion and was recently responsible for a sector overseen by the PIJ's missile units.
The military killed both after identifying an enemy drone that had previously been activated by Hamas for tracking the movements of IDF soldiers.
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עזה המכונית שבה נהרגו בנו של וואיל דחדוח ועיתונאי נוסף אל ג'זירה
עזה המכונית שבה נהרגו בנו של וואיל דחדוח ועיתונאי נוסף אל ג'זירה
The car struck in and IDF airstrike
(Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
The IDF also identified the controller used to operate the same drone inside the vehicle where Hamza had been. The operator of the drone was Mustafa – who was not only a photographer but also a surveillance operative in the Hamas' service.
On Sunday, the Qatari network Al Jazeera reported that it "condemns the assassination of the journalist al-Dahdouh, the son of Al Jazeera correspondent Wael al-Dahdouh." Al Jazeera also strongly criticized "the attack by the occupation's forces on a vehicle carrying a Palestinian journalist team north of Rafah."
Wael al-Dahdouh, Hamza's father, is the head of the Al Jazeera bureau in Gaza and is considered a well-known figure in the Arab world. He was recently injured in an explosion.
His wife and two of his children were killed in another Israeli airstrike in the early weeks of the war. After the death of his son on Sunday, Wael said, "We tell Hamza and all the martyrs that we remain committed to the covenant. This is the path we have chosen."
On the same day, sources in Gaza claimed that at least 109 journalists have been killed in the strip since the beginning of the conflict.
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