Roshdi Sarraj is 19th Palestinian journalist killed since start of Israel's Gaza bombardment

Roshdi Sarraj is 19th Palestinian journalist killed since start of Israel's Gaza bombardment
Palestinian filmmaker, journalist, and fixer Roshdi Sarraj was killed Sunday in an Israeli airstrike on his home in Gaza City that also injured his wife and 11-month-old baby.
3 min read
23 October, 2023
More than 5,000 people have been killed in Israel's brutal bombardment of the Gaza Strip since 7 October [Dawood Nemer/AFP via Getty-file photo]

Famed Palestinian filmmaker and journalist Roshdi Sarraj was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his home in Gaza on Sunday, making him the 19th Palestinian journalist killed since Israel began its brutal bombardment of the Gaza Strip just over two weeks ago.

Sarraj, 31, was killed in a strike on a house in the Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City, reported Radio France, a news outlet for whom Sarraj had been helping with its Gaza coverage since 2021.

His wife and 11-month-old daughter were injured in the strike, Radio France said.

Sarraj was co-founder of media company Ain Media, a Palestinian company specialising in what it calls "media production services".

He had sent live updates on the war on Gaza via social media platform 'X' amid the devastating Israeli bombing campaign there since 7 October with more than 5,000 people killed.

"A lack of media coverage from Gaza," Sarraj said last week, "due to the killing more than 12 journalists, the bombing, and the blackout of electricity and the Internet."

"However, we are still trying to withstand and continue coverage so the world can see the israili [sic] crimes in Gaza."

Ain Media said in a statement posted to 'X': "It is with deep sorrow that we announce that today... Roshdi Sarraj, the co-founder of Ain Media, a brilliant photojournalist and filmmaker, has been brutally murdered in an Israeli airstrike that hit his home in Gaza City."

The statement also pointed to the killing of company co-founder Yaser Murtaja five years ago by Israeli forces at the Gaza border while he was covering the Great March of Return.

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"Roshdi and Yaser are life; they gave voice to the people of Gaza, to their smiles, to the stories locked in fear, to hopes cherished secretly from the oppression of the Israeli occupation," read the Aim Media statement.

Testimonies have poured in from Sarraj's peers since news of his death surfaced, including journalists who had worked with the media worker in Gaza.

"'Sending love to you'. That was his last message. By bombing his house, Israel killed my friend," Alice Froussard, a French journalist currently working for Radio France, said on 'X'.

Eman Abusidu, a Brazilian-Palestinian correspondent for Middle East Monitor (MEMO), said Sarraj was a "kind-hearted colleague" and "eye of Gaza".

Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, also praised Sarraj.

"We have lost a friend and a colleague: Rushdi Saraj who worked with Amnesty on a short film, was murdered today in an Israeli airstrike," Callamard said.

Sarraj "was a talented film maker and a journalist - another victim of Israeli bombing of Gaza", she added.

Roshdi Sarraj is the 23rd journalist to have been killed since 7 October, the day Israel began its intensive bombardment of the Gaza Strip, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Of the 23 journalists killed, 19 of them have been Palestinian, three of them Israeli, and one Lebanese, the press freedom group said in a tally last updated Sunday.