The Qatar Press Center (QPC) celebrated at its headquarters recently the heroic role of journalist Wael al-Dahdouh, director of Al Jazeera’s bureau and its correspondent in Gaza. Al-Dahdouh tragically lost his entire family during his coverage of the events of the brutal Zionist aggression on the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza correspondent was stationed in the conflict zone to discharge his duties, but he was personally targeted, and a serious injury forced him to be transferred to Doha to undergo urgent surgery and receive appropriate treatment.
Al-Dahdouh was felicitated in Doha at a symposium titled 'Journalists in Gaza ... Dying for the Truth', organised by the QPC, in which he recalled his experience from the frontline covering the events of the ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip. HE Saad al-Rumaihi, president of the QPC, said that targeting the family of al-Dahdouh and targeting him personally is an attack on the greatest, most beautiful and most prestigious national media platform in Arab history, the Al-Jazeera Channel, which had it not been for it, many facts would have been hidden from people’s eyes."
Al-Dahdouh said: “I am happy and grateful for this opportunity that allowed me to meet with you at the QPC. You were accustomed to always watching us on television from the battlefield, but God destined that circumstances would develop and that I would arrive in Doha to receive treatment and meet you in this regard this evening.”
He explained that the basic question before all Palestinian journalists in this place is that you have to decide whether you want to side with this humanitarian message? He said: The question that follows is: Will you continue, or will the decision be otherwise after you are harmed and withdrawn as a result of the psychological pressure?
Al Dahdouh said: “As a human being and as a person, what I went through in the Gaza Strip during these four months was difficult, full of trials and pain, and full of questions, the answers to which were clear and you followed them, preferring not to delve further into this topic and those memories.”
In his answer to a question about the policy towards journalists, especially in light of the Israeli occupation army’s targeting of journalists, al-Dahdouh said: “This new, old policy that the Israeli occupation army is pursuing towards journalists aims to intimidate people, cover up failure, and fear of the spread of information and real news.”
He said: “What happened in the Gaza Strip is a very big event, and what happened on October 7 is a big and unexpected event, and therefore the aggression that occurred on the Gaza Strip was also greater than the expectations of the Palestinian and non-Palestinian media and journalists.
He added: “Therefore, it seems that the Israeli occupation army does not want the eyes of the truth, namely the Palestinian journalists, to approach the course of events because it is a crime and because, in the end, if it is published on television, on platforms and elsewhere, it constitutes a great embarrassment for it in international forums and also in world public opinion, and therefore it began to target Palestinian journalists.”
Al-Dahdouh confirmed that humanitarian aid is very important to the people of Gaza, regardless of its size, and is what keeps people alive because Israel closed all the crossings and none of the aid entered to the Gaza Strip through those crossings. Furthermore, Israel targeted the warehouses that contained food stocks that might help people withstand for a long time, by adopting a policy of drying up the sources, which put great pressure on the internal front.
He noted that it is unfortunate that aid does not enter the northern part of the Gaza Strip, pointing out that the suffering of the people in the northern Gaza Strip is more severe than for the rest of residents of the southern Gaza Strip, although everyone is suffering in such a way that the citizen stands on the brink of starvation.
He stressed that Qatar had a humanitarian role in Gaza even before the war. After previous wars in the Gaza Strip, there are Qatari projects in the Gaza Strip that have changed lives in the Gaza Strip, such as the Al-Rasheed Street and the Corniche project. Qatari hospitals and health centres are providing critical aid to suffering Gazans.