'We're waiting for our turn': Palestinian journalist rips off protective vest, breaks down on air after colleague's death

Mohammed Abu Hatab was killed along with at least 11 family members in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza

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Published: Sat 4 Nov 2023, 8:52 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Nov 2023, 12:33 PM

A journalist working for the Palestinian Authority's television channel was killed on Thursday in an Israeli strike on Gaza, his network reported, as war rages between Israel and Hamas.

"Our colleague Mohammed Abu Hatab fell as a martyr along with members of his family in an Israeli bombardment against his home in Khan Yunis" in the south of the territory, broadcaster Palestine TV station said.

Mourners attend the funeral of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Abu Hattab, who was killed in an Israeli strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, November 3, 2023. Reuters
Mourners attend the funeral of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Abu Hattab, who was killed in an Israeli strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, November 3, 2023. Reuters
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

A video has been making the rounds on social media showing the deceased journalist's colleague breaking down on air as he reported on his killing, which took place just 30 minutes after Hattab’s last report.

"There is no international protection at all and no immunity. These shields and hats do not protect us. They are just slogans that we only wear and they do not protect any journalist at all," said the journalist while being interviewed live, his voice breaking as he started to cry.

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The anchor across the screen is heard weeping in the video, as her colleague on the scene narrated the incident.

He proceeded to rip off his protective gear — a helmet and a press jacket — and threw it on the floor.

"Here we are victims live on TV, losing lives one after another at no cost. We become martyred victims, it's only a matter of time. We are waiting for our turn, one after the other."

Medical sources at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis said at least 11 family members were killed in the strike along with TV correspondent Mohammad Abu Hattab.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
Rescuers search the home of Palestine TV journalist Mohamed Abu Hatab, who was killed along with family members during Israeli bombardment on Khan Yunis. AFP
Rescuers search the home of Palestine TV journalist Mohamed Abu Hatab, who was killed along with family members during Israeli bombardment on Khan Yunis. AFP

Since Israel began bombarding the Gaza Strip in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attacks, hundreds of Palestinian journalists have had to flee south from Gaza City and work in fear for their lives in appalling conditions as Israeli air raids pound the territory.

The Palestinian journalists' union says that 27 of its members have been killed in the territory since October 7.

Media representatives in Gaza, including AFP, used to work from offices in Gaza City.

But intense Israeli bombardments, which destroyed many buildings, forced news organisations to send their teams to the south, even as Israeli strikes hit targets across the entire territory.

The conflict raged for a 27th day Thursday after the October 7 attacks when Hamas militants stormed the border, killing 1,400 people and kidnapping more than 240, Israeli officials say.

Since then, Israel has relentlessly pounded the Palestinian territory and sent in ground troops, with the health ministry in Gaza saying 9,061 people have been killed, including 3,760 children.

With inputs from AFP

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