Gaza journalist who wrote for Al Jazeera was holding three hostages in home with family, Israel says

A Gaza journalist who wrote for Al Jazeera held three hostages with his family in his home before he was killed by Israeli commandos during a rescue operation on Saturday, the Israeli military said.

Abdallah Aljamal, who also worked as a spokesman for the Hamas-run Ministry of Labor, was killed when special forces soldiers stormed his home in central Gaza and rescued hostages Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andriy Kozlov, 27, and Shlomia Ziva, 41, the Israeli military said.

Aljamal’s death was initially reported by Rami Abdu, head of the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, who claimed that Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers had stormed the journalist’s home and killed him and several members of his family.

The IDF acknowledged that Aljamal was holding hostages in his family home, but did not say what happened to his relatives.

“This is further evidence that the terrorist organization Hamas is using the civilian population as human shields,” the IDF said in a statement.

Aljamal previously wrote a column for Al Jazeera in 2019. The Qatar-based outlet said Aljamal was never its employee.

Before his death, Aljamal contributed to The Palestine Chronicle news outlet, where he wrote numerous stories about the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza during the Israeli offensive.

Many of his recent stories have focused on the current IDF operation in Nuseirat, where his home was and where Israeli intelligence determined he was holding three of the four hostages rescued Saturday near the refugee camp.

The The Palestine Chronicle is a non-profit organization based in Washington State that provides daily news in Gaza.

The publication claims that their team is “composed of professional journalists and respected writers and authors who do not speak for any political party or advocate any particular political agenda”.

The organization confirmed on Sunday that Aljamal was reporting from the ground in Gaza, but did not mention that he had three hostages.

The outlet did not immediately respond Publicationrequest for comment.

Along with the three men, Israeli forces also rescued Noa Argamani, a 26-year-old Israeli woman who became the feared face of the October 7 terrorist attack on the Jewish state.

Israel called the rescue a success and estimated that there were “fewer than 100” victims in the attack.

However, the Hamas-run Health Ministry claimed that 274 people, including civilians, had been killed.

Both Israeli and US officials blamed the casualties on Hamas’ tactics of keeping hostages and ammunition in civilian areas.

“The Palestinian people are going through real hell in this conflict because Hamas is acting in a way that puts them in the crossfire, that has hostages right in the middle of crowded civilian areas, that puts military positions right in the heart of crowded civilian areas,” he told Sunday CNN said US national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

More than 36,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, which makes a distinction between terrorists and civilians.

This article was originally published on the NY Post and has been reproduced with permission

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