'I survived': Gaza reporter Bayan Abusultan alive following social media absence, safety concerns

'I survived': Gaza reporter Bayan Abusultan alive following social media absence, safety concerns
The Gaza City-based journalist was noticeably absent from social media after she posted that her brother had been killed in front of her on 19 March.
3 min read
29 March, 2024
Bayan Abusultan is among the most prominent young journalists in Gaza, where she has been documenting Israel's military campaign [Credit: X]

The Gaza-based reporter Bayan Abusultan, announced on Friday that she is alive, addressing concerns over her safety and whereabouts after a prolonged absence from her typically active social media pages.

Abusultan, based in Gaza City, posted an image of herself on the Instagram Stories feature with the caption "alive", alongside a time stamp of 10:29am local time. The journalist also wrote "I survived" on X, formerly known as Twitter, ten days after she said on the social media platform that her brother had been killed by Israeli forces in front of her eyes.

Fellow journalists and pro-Palestinian activists expressed their relief over Abusultan’s survival on social media.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) raised concerns earlier this week about the journalist’s whereabouts, demanding that the Israeli army "immediately sheds light" on her disappearance.

The NGO said Abusultan was last seen on 19 March, among detainees in the vicinity of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, which has been under Israeli siege for over a week.

Israeli forces have detained and killed scores of Palestinians in the medical facility, which has become a place of refuge for many residents of Gaza City escaping Israeli bombardment.

Reports on Wednesday stated that the Israeli army executed 13 children in and around the hospital, sparking international outcry and accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

On Saturday, Palestinian activist and journalist Ahmed El-Madhoun said on X that Abusultan was "okay and stuck in her house" near Al-Shifa Hospital, and that she buried her brother in the backyard of her house.

Absultan has been using her social media platforms to report the ongoing atrocities committed by Israel during its military campaign of the enclave, which has been ongoing since October 7.

Israel has carried out a full-scale onslaught on the enclave, targeting residential buildings, hospitals, refugee camps and places of worship.

Since the conflict began, at least 32,623 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed. A looming famine threatens much of the enclave, exacerbated by a severe shortage of food, water, and medicine resulting from Israel’s blockade.

The Gazan journalist has posted multiple photographs and videos documenting the Israeli aggression on the enclave, as well as video testimonies of life under Israeli shelling. In many of her videos, bombardment can be heard.

This isn't the first time alarms were raised over Abusultan's safety. During an Israeli-imposed telecommunications blackout in November last year, she wrote:  "When I go silent for long, it either means that I got no internet connection, that my battery died, or that I died."

"My full name is: Bayan Abusultan and I live in western Gaza City. If you google me and find out I was killed, please take care of my books," she added.