Al Jazeera slams Israel over 'Hamas' charge

Al Jazeera slams Israel over 'Hamas' charge
Two Al Jazeera reporters in Gaza were seriously injured in an Israeli air strike near Rafah on Tuesday
2 min read
16 February, 2024
Two other journalists with the broadcaster have been killed during Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza [GETTY]

Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera said on Thursday it rejected what it called an Israeli attempt to justify targeting its journalists covering the war in the Gaza Strip, following the killing of dozens of Palestinian media workers in the enclave.

The broadcaster issued a statement after the Israeli army on Wednesday alleged that an Al Jazeera journalist severely wounded in an air strike in Gaza was a Hamas militant who filmed himself at a kibbutz during the October 7 attack.

"The network condemns the accusations against its journalists and recalls Israel's long record of lies and fabrication of evidence through which it seeks to hide its heinous crimes," the Al Jazeera statement said.

The channel had itself reported on Tuesday that Arabic language reporter Ismail Abu Omar and his cameraman Ahmad Matar were both seriously injured north of Rafah and taken to hospital for treatment.

But Israel's military described Omar as "a deputy company commander in Hamas's Eastern Battalion of Khan Yunis".

"Abu Omar even filmed himself in Kibbutz Nir Oz during the October 7 massacre and published it on social media platforms," an Israeli statement said.

On Thursday, the Al Jazeera statement said: "Al Jazeera's employment policies stipulate that employees are not to engage in any political affiliations that may affect their professionalism."

It accused Israel of systematically targeting its media workers in Gaza.

Two other journalists with the broadcaster have been killed during Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, while bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh was wounded.

His son and fellow journalist Hamza Wael al-Dahdouh was killed when Israeli forces targeted a car last month, along with another video journalist, Mustafa Thuria.

The network's cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa was killed in a separate strike in December.