Belal Jadallah, respected journalist and chairman of the Gaza Press House, was killed on Sunday in an Israeli attack in Gaza.
Jadallah, on his way south from Gaza City, was killed by an Israeli tank shell in the Zeitoun neighbourhood. Known as ‘the Godfather of Palestinian Journalists,’ Jadallah had stayed back in Gaza City to fulfil the “moral duty to tell the world about what he was seeing,” writes his brother, photojournalist Ali Jadallah.
His death adds to the ascending fatality rate of media workers, bringing the total number of journalists killed in the area to 48 since the commencement of the war, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Tributes have poured in for Jadallah internationally, with fellow journalists describing him as a mentor and father figure. Motaz Azaiza, a Gaza-based journalist, expressed on Instagram, “Belal made young Palestinian journalists believe in themselves.”
Throughout the conflict, he ensured that the Gaza Press House provided crucial support for journalists, including safety measures and technical equipment. Jadallah’s efforts extended to hosting international delegations about violations against Palestinians in Gaza.
The Gaza Press House said on Sunday that it “mourns its Director General Belal Jadallah who was martyred in [an] Israeli bombing of Gaza City.”
Tor Wennesland, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, hailed Jadallah as a “professional, knowledgeable, and passionate journalist who dedicated his life to the freedom of journalism.”
The death of Belal Jadallah adds to the escalating toll on journalists in the region, marking the latest tragedy in a series of fatalities. The ongoing war has seen more journalists killed in the first month than any other conflict since the CPJ began documenting statistics for journalists covering conflict in 1992.
The international community mourns the loss of a dedicated journalist as calls for accountability continue to rise. Husam Zumlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, described Jadallah’s death as “devastating” and urged that his killers be brought to justice.
Saturday marked the second-deadliest day for journalists in the region since October 7, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Quds News Network director Sari Mansour, freelance photojournalist Hassouneh Salim, MSDR News analyst Mostafa El Sawaf, and Al-Aqsa TV staffer Amro Salah Abu Hayah lost their lives. Freelance photographer Mossab Ashour was reportedly killed in a prior attack, with his death only being reported on Saturday upon the discovery of his body.
The situation remains grim as Gaza continues to face sustained attacks, and journalists document the unfolding tragedy.
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