Monday, December 4, 2023

Gaza War 2023: They are not journalists and photographers anymore; they are people facing genocide

"The stage of risking everything to bring you the news is over, and now the survival stage has started," said Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza on Saturday.

“I brought enough news to you, and God be my witness, it was for God and to serve my country,” said Azaiza as the Israeli army entered its second day of attacking Gaza after breaching the truce between it and Palestinian factions led by Hamas.

Bissan , Ismail and Motaz 

“We are now facing the start of internal siege; we can’t move to North or South.” The young Palestinian photographer, who was chosen as GQ Middle East’s Man of the Year 2023, described in a post in Arabic how the Israeli tanks surrounded central Gaza on both the Northern and Southern ends.

The message of Motaz Azaiza 

“Our situation is more dire than you can imagine,” Azaiza, who lost scores of his family members in this way, said.

“Remember: We are not content for you to share. We are a cause attempting to stay alive, alone.”

I've read what Motaz Azaiza has said and shared online, and I feel deeply concerned—worried for him and for other Palestinian reporters, photographers, and citizen journalists who, for two months now, have bravely conveyed the truth to the world.

The pessimistic perspective expressed by Azaiza has been echoed by others in Gaza, including Palestinian filmmaker-turned-correspondent, the kindhearted and cheerful Bisan, as seen on her Instagram.

“I no longer have any hope of survival like I had at the beginning of this genocide, and I am certain that I will die in the next few weeks or maybe days,” Bissan said revealing that she has been sick with severe viral infection for days and cannot move from the mattress.

On December 1, UNRWA reported an outbreak of Hepatitis A in one of its shelters.

For weeks now Gaza has had no access to clean water or electricity nor enough medicine. According to reports, 20 hospitals and 110 health centres are damaged in the city. 56 ambulances also were directly targeted by the Israeli army.

It is not a surprise that Bissan suffers from viral infection.

“You are not innocent of what is happening to us, you as governments or peoples that support Israel’s annihilation of my people,” Bissan told the world in a message.

“We will not forgive you, we will not forgive you, humanity will not forgive you, we will not forget, even if we die, the history will never forget,” Bisan said.

The same sentiment is shared by Palestinian Blogger Ismail Jood who documented full war crimes with his cameras at Gaza’s hospital.

Jood recorded a video reel on Instagram. Yours truly downloaded the video and fully translated it into English.

Jood then posted what he called his last message in Arabic and English.


There is a slight difference in the last sentence in both versions.

“And May curse be upon you, hypocrite world,” he says in English but in Arabic he directs a message to the Arab rulers.

“We are today, and you are tomorrow”

Palestinian film editor-turned-into-blogger Hossam Shabat had a small and simple wish. 

" We want to fulfil the simplest of wishes. We now wish to breathe clean air without toxic gases" He said in early December. 

Palestinian journalist Hend El-Khoudary refused to leave Gaza and continued to cover as much as she could after witnessing her home and her husband's project, a seaside cafe in North Gaza destroyed by the Israeli army. 

On Monday she posted a tweet that made everyone concerned and they should be. 

The Gaza journalists and bloggers are tired and feel that despite all the images and videos documenting full war crimes in real, the world is only watching when their people are slaughtered day and night.

Israeli army resumed its genocidal war on Gaza, and it seems to be going on with its plan to “thin” Gaza’s population as much as possible under the context of fighting Hamas whether by killing Gaza’s population or forcing them to head to Egypt.

On Friday when Israel breached the truce and returned to war, its army killed on one day at 5 journalists including two brothers.

Turkish Anadolu Press Agency photographer Montaser Al-Sawaf and his brother, soundman Marwan Al-Sawaf, were killed on Friday.

Ten days prior, the Israeli army bombed their family home, resulting in the death of 45 family members, including their father, prominent journalist and analyst Ahmed Al-Sawaf, their mother, two siblings, Mahmoud and director Mohamed Al-Sawaf, and their children.

Despite sustaining injuries to his face, Montaser Al-Sawaf continued to work, stating at the time that he couldn't find a doctor.

On Friday, Montaser and Marwan Al-Sawaf were struck in an Israeli airstrike. According to eyewitnesses, Montaser bled for half an hour until his death. No ambulance could reach him, and he was transferred to Baptist Hospital in a civilian car.

Late Montaser and Marwan Al-Sawaf
Late Montaser and Marwan Al-Sawaf 

Those were the last photos Montaser Al-Sawaf took, depicting the destruction of residential buildings in Tal Al-Hawa, West of Gaza

Monaster Al-Sawaf is remembered as a cat lover who used to feed stray cats in times of war. 

According to the numbers we have, the Israeli army in this war killed at least 75 journalists in two months. 

This is more than all the journalists who were killed in the 20 years of the Vietnam War. Some claim that this is more than the number of journalists of WWII but I checked, and it turned out that the US sources only count the US journalists who were killed in the war, not other nationalities.

Journalist Mahmoud Salem who works with Palestinian Civil Defense was killed on Monday as the Israeli shelling targeted the Civil defense units that help the citizens in Gaza.

Late Mahmoud Salem
Late Mahmoud Salem

75 journalists in 60 days, I believe that this could be more than the Egyptian, Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian Journalists who were killed in the Six Days War altogether.

Sadly, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported the numbers without reporting the fact the Israeli army or rather Israel kills journalists just like any third-world military dictatorship and yet its name is not included in the worst countries for journalists.

Aside from the Palestinian journalists and reporters who are killed in Gaza, there are also Palestinian journalists who are detained by Israeli occupation forces in the West. 

Those Palestinian journalists were killed in October.
Those Palestinian journalists were killed in October. 

According to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate "PJS", 41 Palestinian journalists have been detained by Israeli forces from 7 October till 28 November. 12 of them have been released whereas 29 others are still in detention, mostly under the context of "administrative detention". 

This is in addition to 15 Palestinian journalists who have been in Israeli detention before October 7th. 

The Palestinian reporters, photographers and bloggers are continuing to do their jobs despite their deaths being closer than ever and actually they are the target of the Israeli army. 

They have not lost their hope despite those moments of despair I recount enough. 

On Saturday when I started to write this post, I found a video of a group of Palestinian journalists above them Al-Jazeera veteran correspondent Wael Dahdouh, who lost his wife, two children and one grandchild in the early days of war singing. 

They sang "We will not leave, we will remain here" 

This song, sung by Palestinian journalists, photographers, and bloggers abandoned by the world, stands as a poignant heritage of the Arab Spring in 2005. 

Originally penned and composed by Libyan doctor Adel Almshety in defiance of the Libyan dictator Gaddafi, it resurfaced as one of the anthems of the Arab Spring after the Libyan revolutionaries ousted Gaddafi.

Subsequently, the song transcended borders, making its way to Syria, resonating with protesters against Al-Assad. In a sombre moment, it travelled from Syria to the South, reaching Gaza to provide a glimmer of hope in a dark hour.

Blogger Hossam Shabat published on Monday this beautiful video showing Palestinian children from Beit Hannon chanting in a resilience message "We want to go back home".

Inshallah they will return to North Gaza safe soon. 

The dark hour is getting darker but inshallah I will believe it won't be for a long time. 


  1. It's good to see that there are consequences for calling for the genocide of Jews. Finally. Work for Brotherhood propaganda network. Not sorry

    1. I know, right? In a TV interview, the President of U Penn said that there was no penalty to student protesters for calling for the genocide of Jews. A rich contributor said he was, therefore, not giving U Penn 100 million dollars, after all. She was forced to resign.


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