Journalist loses foot after being badly wounded in Israeli attack in Gaza

Gaza’s media office and Reporters Without Borders say there is evidence to suggest it was a targeted attack.

Injured journalists from TRT in Gaza
Injured journalists from TRT Arabi channeI are brought to a hospital for medical treatment after an Israeli attack at the Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu]

Three journalists have been injured, one seriously, in an Israeli attack at the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza that authorities in the besieged strip say was a targeted attack.

Sami Shehadeh, a journalist with Turkish broadcaster TRT had his foot amputated after being wounded in the attack on Friday, according to the channel. TRT Arabi correspondent Sami Berhum was also wounded.

“The vehicle of a team from TRT Arabi [TRT’s Arabic-language channel] that was preparing to broadcast from the Nuseirat camp … was targeted by an Israeli army strike,” the broadcaster said.

TRT’s Director General Zahid Sobaci called the attack “Israeli brutality” and said it had gone beyond all “moral, legal or humanitarian limits”.

Lying on the floor of the al-Aqsa Hospital in the Gaza City of Deir el-Balah, Shehadeh told an AFP reporter that he was “far from the danger zone. I was even surrounded by people and journalists,” when the attack took place.

“We were shooting when a strike targeted us, I don’t know if it was a missile or a tank. I saw that my leg was amputated,” he recounted.

“I was wearing a press vest and helmet and it was clear even for the blind that I am a journalist.”

‘Journalists deliberately targeted’

Gaza’s media office condemned the Israeli attack on the vehicle carrying the three journalists.

“We strongly condemn the ongoing targeting of journalists and media crews by Israeli occupation forces,” it said in a statement.

Israeli forces are “deliberately killing and wounding journalists in an attempt to scare, threaten, and prevent reporters from carrying out their duties, as well as to stifle the truth,” it added.

Jonathan Dagher, the head of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Middle East desk, said reports of journalists being attacked, injured, and killed in Gaza by Israel have become “so commonplace”.

“We’ve had to report them almost daily for the past six months. This is just the latest attack, it’s terrible … it’s unacceptable,” he told Al Jazeera.

Dagher described the attack as “unprovoked”, and said there is enough evidence to prove that the vehicle was targeted.

More than 100 journalists have been killed by Israel in Gaza over the past six months, he said.

This “massacre has to stop”, he added, calling on the international community to “step up the pressure” on Israel.

Speaking to journalists in Ankara, Turkey’s presidential office communications director Fahrettin Altun said that “Israel targeted, deliberately and willingly committed this massacre.”

Altun reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas had discussed the attack in a phone call.

“No matter what happens, we will continue to stand firm against Israel’s barbaric attacks on Gaza and Israel will pay the price for this cruelty,” Altun reported Erdogan as saying.

At least 70 people injured in Israeli attacks on Nuseirat camp in central Gaza have been brought to the camp’s al-Awda Hospital since Friday morning, according to local sources.

Israel’s attacks on Gaza have killed more than 33,600 people since the war began on October 7.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies