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War on Gaza: Israeli army kills journalist Heba al-Abdallah and her family

The journalist was killed in a missile strike on her home in Khan Younis in southern Gaza
Heba al-Abdallah was killed in her home in Khan Younis after Israeli forces bombed the area (Screengrab/X)

Palestinian journalist Heba al-Abdallah has been killed in an attack by the Israeli army, local media outlets announced on Tuesday, citing medical sources. 

According to the reports, Abdallah was in her home with her family in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip when an Israeli aircraft bombed their home, killing everyone inside.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health says that at least 113 journalists have been killed since 7 October, making it one of the most deadly conflicts ever for the media.

A number of Palestinian journalists and media figures in Gaza have spoken out against the killing.

In a joint statement they said that Israel’s “attack on [Abdallah's] home demonstrates its insistence in killing journalists and targeting Palestinian media crews, with the aim of obliterating the truth and preventing their crimes being exposed”.

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Social media users also paid tribute to the journalist and shared photos of her, calling for Israel to be held accountable. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists says the conflict in Gaza is the worst for journalists since it started gathering data in 1992.

According to Bisan Owda, a Gaza based content creator who has been documenting Israel’s assaults on Gaza since 7 October, al-Abdallah also worked as a trainer in the field of soft skills, and was also a friend of hers.

“She was empowering women and youth in the fields of social and political work,” she said in an Instagram video posted on 10 January.

“She worked with many universities because she was smart in management, she was my trainer in the field of debates, we won a lot of debates together, she was nominated to take part in the next parliamentary elections.”
She also added that al-Abdallah was besieged in her home for weeks.

“She was killed with her five year old daughter Jouri…it’s a sad intellectual loss…she could have built Gaza if we survived this genocide. It is an intellectual loss, and the loss of friends and family. She was a great friend and she was killed,” she added. 

Attacks on journalists

The killing of Abdallah comes days after an Israeli air strike killed two journalists on 7 January, including Hamza al-Dahdouh, the son of Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief, Wael al-Dahdouh.

The other journalist killed in the attack was named as Mustafa Thuraya.

The Al Jazeera Media Network condemned the killing of the two, and said it had been a deliberate attack.

"We urge the International Criminal Court, the governments and human rights organisations, and the United Nations to hold Israel accountable for its heinous crimes and demand an end to the targeting and killing of journalists," the network said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday's killings were an "unimaginable tragedy" and that he was "deeply, deeply sorry" for the Dahdouh family's loss.

"One [journalist killed] is far too many," Blinken said at a press conference in Doha, Qatar.

The UN has voiced concerns on Monday about the high number of journalists killed in Gaza.

"Very concerned by the high death toll of media workers in Gaza," the UN rights office said on X, formerly Twitter, adding that each death should be "thoroughly, independently investigated to ensure strict compliance with international law, and violations prosecuted".

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