Journalist, doctor held Israelis hostage in Gaza

Abdullah al-Jama was reportedly killed along with other family members during Israel’s Nuseirat rescue operation.

By Joshua Marks | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
Rescued Israeli hostage Noa Argamani, left, with her father, Yaakov, center, an Israeli soldier and a doctor at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on June 8, 2024. Credit: GPO.
Rescued Israeli hostage Noa Argamani, left, with her father, Yaakov, center, an Israeli soldier and a doctor at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on June 8, 2024. Credit: GPO.

A journalist and a doctor were among the family members holding Israeli hostages in their home in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed on Sunday night.

“Following checks by the IDF and the Shin Bet, it can be confirmed that [journalist] Abdullah al-Jamal was an operative of the Hamas terrorist organization, who kept the hostages Almog Meir, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv in his family home in Nuseirat,” the military said in a statement posted to X.

“Abdullah’s family home held hostages alongside family members. This is further proof that the Hamas terrorist organization uses the civilian population as a human shield,” the statement added.

Meir, Kozlov and Ziv, along with hostage Noa Argamani, were rescued by Israeli forces in a daring daylight raid on Saturday.

Al-Jamal was killed during the raid, according to EuroMed, a Geneva-based NGO led by Gaza-born Palestinian financial expert Ramy Abdu and Richard Falk, a harsh critic of the Jewish state and the former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.

“In an initial testimony documenting the killings committed by the Israeli army in the Nuseirat camp today, the @EuroMedHR reported that the Israeli army used a ladder to enter the home of Dr. Ahmed Al-Jamal,” Abdu tweeted.

“The army immediately executed 36-year-old Fatima Al-Jamal upon encountering her on the staircase. The forces then stormed the house and executed her husband, journalist Abdullah Al-Jamal, 36, and his father, Dr. Ahmed, 74, in front of his grandchildren. The army also shot their daughter, Zainab, 27, who sustained serious injuries.”

Al-Jamal is a contributor to The Palestine Chronicle, where his latest article was published on June 7. He also has a profile page on the Al Jazeera website, where he was described as reporting often from the 2018–2019 Gaza border riots, called the “Great March of Return” by Palestinians. (The only Al Jazeera article attributed to him, as a co-author, is an opinion piece titled “Tales of torture from Israeli prisons” published in 2019.)

The Palestine Chronicle and Al Jazeera spell his name as “Abdallah Aljamal.”

He was also the spokesman for the Hamas-run Labor Ministry in Gaza.

Imran Khan, a senior correspondent at Al Jazeera English, attempted to distance the Qatari network from al-Jamal.

“Also, the news that an Al Jazeera journalist was harboring one of the captives is completely false. The individual in question who was killed in the raid along with his family was, at one point, a freelance journalist. He has never worked for Al Jazeera Arabic or English. He is certainly not in any way, shape, or form an Al Jazeera Journalist,” wrote Khan, according to i24NEWS.

Hamas is paying Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip up to 70 shekels ($19) a day to watch over Israeli hostages taken on Oct. 7, a freed captive said last week.

Ada Sagi, 75, was kidnapped from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz during the Hamas-led invasion and was held in a family home in Gaza until she was released as part of the hostage-for-ceasefire deal on Nov. 28.

Asked on June 2 by Israel’s Channel 12 News what would motivate a Gaza family with children to imprison Jews, Sagi said: “Money.”

 

Israel extends temporary Al Jazeera ban

Israel’s Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi on Sunday signed a 45-day extension of a temporary ban on Al Jazeera‘s local operations, following a unanimous government decision.

Karhi said the decision was based on updated opinions from security sources, “which state unequivocally that the channel’s broadcasts are a real threat to the security of the state,” adding that further extensions were likely given the security threat posed by the Qatari-based channel, which Jerusalem accuses of aiding its enemies.

“In light of the seriousness of the damage to the security of the state by the Al Jazeera terrorist channel, I am convinced that the closure orders will be extended in the future as well, along with the extension of the time limit stipulated in the law authorizing the Minister of Communications to act against foreign broadcasters that harm the security of the state,” Karhi tweeted.

“I thank Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the members of the government for approving the extension of the orders and for the commitment to act in every way for the safety of our soldiers and citizens,” he added.

The government approval of the extension ban came days after the Tel Aviv District Court on June 5 gave legal backing to the original closure order a month earlier.

In his ruling, Judge Shai Yaniv set the ban for 35 days from the day Karhi issued the instructions, until June 8. The court said in its ruling that “convincing, clear and unambiguous evidence” had been presented to it regarding “the close, long-term connection between the Hamas terror organization and the Al Jazeera media network,” adding that Hamas “advances its goals through the channel.”

The court found that Al Jazeera‘s broadcasts include “clear incitement” and that the channel “describes in ‘real-time’ the positioning of IDF forces.”

The Israeli Cabinet voted unanimously on May 5 to approve a Knesset bill from the previous month to bring about the closure of Al Jazeera’s bureau in the country.

“The government headed by me unanimously decided: The incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel,” tweeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the time, while thanking Karhi.

The Knesset voted 71-10 in April for the bill, that gives the prime minister authority to shut down the anti-Israel broadcaster’s local operations.

The legislation states that the communications minister may act against a foreign channel that harms the state’s security, with the consent of the prime minister and the approval of the Cabinet or the government. The prime minister and Cabinet can approve the measure after security officials prove that the channel poses an actual security risk.

The measures enable authorities to order television providers to stop broadcasting the outlet; close its offices in Israel; seize its equipment; shut down its website; and revoke press credentials for staff.

Communications Ministry inspectors confiscated Al Jazeera television broadcast equipment during a May 9 raid on the station’s studio in Nazareth.

Al Jazeera was founded with the financial backing of the Qatari royal family and has served for decades as a mouthpiece for the regime, which provides asylum for the leaders of Hamas, a group designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, European Union, Israel and other nations.

The Arabic-language network is notorious for its anti-Israel reporting, antisemitic rhetoric and Holocaust denial, even as its English outlet has sought to offer a veneer of objectivity to Western viewers through some high-profile international anchors.

In February, the IDF exposed a Palestinian reporter working for Al Jazeera in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Abu Omar, as a Hamas terrorist operative. That revelation came days after the IDF exposed Al Jazeera employee Mohamed Washah as a Hamas officer, citing documents seized in the Gaza Strip.

In January, the IDF presented evidence that two Al Jazeera journalists killed in Gaza were moonlighting as terrorist operatives, and said that they were operating drones that put soldiers at risk.