Belal Jadallah, one of the most beloved and respected journalists in Gaza, was killed yesterday by Israeli shelling.
Known locally as “the godfather of Palestinian journalists,” Jadallah was the founder and chairman of the Gaza Press House—an organization dedicated to training the region’s future journalists and enhancing freedom of expression. He worked closely with many, if not most, of the local journalists in Gaza, helping dozens of aspiring reporters to get started in their careers through his mentorship programs.
As reported by Reuters yesterday: “Jadallah told his sister earlier on Sunday he was heading out of Gaza City towards the south. He was killed in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City, said his sister, who added that people who found him and took him to a medical centre where he was declared dead said he had been killed by an Israeli tank shell.”
In an online eulogy to his murdered brother, Ali Jadallah said that Belal was determined to stay in Gaza City for as long as he possibly could, believing he had a “moral duty to tell the world about what he was seeing.”
Belal was one of six journalists killed by Israeli forces in Gaza over the weekend.
As the Committee to Project Journalists reports today:
The first month of the Israel-Gaza war is now the deadliest month for journalists since CPJ began documenting journalist fatalities in 1992.
As of November 20, CPJ’s investigations showed at least 48 journalists and media workers were among more than 14,000 killed since the war began on October 7—with more than 13,000 deaths in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank and 1,200 in Israel. This deadly toll is coupled with harassment, detentions, and other reporting obstructions in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, and beyond.
The Israeli military has consistently been accused of targeting Palestinian journalists and media workers, as well as their families—both over the past six weeks and in the years previous.
Below are just some of tributes paid to Jaddah by his family, colleagues, and friends over the past 24 hours:
— Ali Jadallah (@alijadallah66) November 20, 2023
Deeply saddened by the loss of my colleague Belal Jadallah, a dedicated journalist and kind soul. He is the 43rd journalist killed in Gaza since October 7. This has been the deadliest month for journalists since @pressfreedom began collecting data more than three decades ago. https://t.co/kJ5TFbML9q
— Nathan Thrall (@NathanThrall) November 20, 2023
We are devastated to learn that our dear friend, media freedom defender Belal Jadallah from Norway’s longtime partner @PressHouseGaza, has been killed. We will continue to work to fulfill Belal’s dream of protection for all journalists everywhere. May his soul rest in peace pic.twitter.com/0gleznWkcA
— Norway in Palestine (@NorwayPalestine) November 19, 2023
This is devastating. Israel’s bombardment of #Gaza targets journalists including my friend, prominent journalist and media freedom defender, Belal Jadallah. May he rest in eternal peace and power, and may his killers be brought to justice. https://t.co/I4JpQmrjPv
— Husam Zomlot (@hzomlot) November 19, 2023
— Ana Garralda (@garraldaana) November 19, 2023
Bilal was my sponsor when I entered Gaza in 2014 to cover the Israeli assault (you need someone in Gaza to sign for you when crossing Palestinian border control). He organized so many journalists from Gaza to work with foreign journalists coming in & was a great political analyst https://t.co/8erU4rINCO
— Sharif Kouddous شريف عبد القدوس (@sharifkouddous) November 20, 2023