Israel to investigate killing of Al Jazeera journalist Wael Al Dahdouh's family

Army spokesman says that Israel is in a 'fateful war'

Al Jazeera correspondent Wael Al Dahdouh mourns his family killed in an Israeli air strike at Nuisserat refugee camp, south of the Gaza Strip. AP
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Israel said it will investigate the circumstances of the killing of the family of Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief Wael Al Dahdouh.

Al Dahdouh's wife, two children and others were killed by an Israeli air strike while sheltering at a relative's home in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee told The National he was "saddened" when he saw photos of the family.

"We have created a team to gather information and study it, to see what was inside the house and near it," he added, referring to possible links to a Hamas target.

The journalist's family fled their home after Israel warned those in the northern half of the Gaza Strip to leave immediately and head south.

In a press briefing for Arabic media, hosted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Mr Adraee said that Israel is "sorry for the loss of any human life" but "this is the strategy of Hamas, to build military positions among civilians".

Israel often accuses Hamas of operating from densely populated areas, resulting in heavy civilian casualties during what it says are attempts to target the group's positions or offices.

Entire families have been wiped out in Gaza, in what Amnesty International called "war crimes".

"We admit making mistakes when they happen" said Mr Adraee, accusing Hamas of having "a clear media agenda" and spreading disinformation.

More than 7,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, over a half of which are women and children

The UN children's fund has condemned the "staggering" number of deaths, with almost 3,000 children killed by Israeli strikes and more than 5,000 wounded.

“The situation in the Gaza Strip is a growing stain on our collective conscience,” Adele Khodr, Unicef regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said on Wednesday.

About 200,000 homes have also been completely or partially destroyed in Gaza, Palestinian officials said.

Lior Ben Dor, the Israeli Foreign Ministry's Arabic media spokesman, said his country wants to "eradicate terrorism in the region," adding that more co-operation is needed, but they are unable to talk to some governments, such as in Syria and Lebanon.

Presenting footage gathered by the Israeli Foreign Ministry of the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, Mr Ben Dor said: "We want to do all we can to share what happened on October 7th".

Hamas carried out an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel three weeks ago killing 1,400 Israelis and kidnapping over 200 into Gaza. It was described as one of the biggest Israeli military failures in decades.

We are not crazy... we are in a fateful war
Avichay Adraee, Israeli army spokesman

Since then, Israel has been carrying out what the Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called a "war of revenge".

"We are not crazy," said Mr Adraee, "but we are in a fateful war".

On Thursday, Hamas said that about 50 captives had been killed.

"There is no clear picture on what the situation would be like in Gaza after [eradicating Hamas]" said the army spokesman.

"What we know for sure is that it won't be the same as it was before October 7."

Nine Arab countries including the UAE and Egypt have called on the UN Security Council to push for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Updated: October 26, 2023, 5:00 PM