Tel Aviv, Jan 11: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that two men identified as Al Jazeera journalists who were killed in a strike in southern Gaza’s Rafah area, were members of terrorist organisations in the Hamas-controlled enclave.
In a post on X late Wednesday night, the IDF said: “Confirmed: journalists Hamza al-Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuria were members of Gaza-based terrorist organizations. On Jan 7, an IAF aircraft directed by troops targeted the operators of a drone, posing a threat to our soldiers near Rafah. The operators were later identified as al-Dahdouh and Thuria.
“Documents found by our troops in Gaza revealed Thuria’s role as Squad Deputy Commander in Hamas’ Gaza City Brigade, as well as Al-Dahdouh’s roles in the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization’s electronic engineering unit and previously as a deputy commander in IJ’s Zeitun Battalion.”
The post also contained an image of a document supposedly of the Al-Quds Brigades, written in Arabic, where two supposed names were underlined in red.
Al-Quds Brigades is the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group.
Dahdouh was the son of Al Jazeera Gaza correspondent Wael Dahdouh and Thuria was a video stringer for AFP who had also worked for Al Jazeera.
In a statement, the Israeli army said that it spotted a terror operative piloting a drone that would have injured IDF soldiers.
In response, the army attacked and hit a car they were in.
The statement said that the military intelligence confirmed that that two were actively involved in attacks against IDF forces.
Following the killings, there were massive protests in Gaza.
International non-profit, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the deaths and said that it received assurances from the a prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it will probe crimes and atrocities against journalists in Gaza amid the raging Israel-Hamas war.
According to Paris-based media rights group, at least 79 media workers have been killed in the past three months in the Hamas-controlled enclave.–(IANS)