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Israel strike kills Al Jazeera journalist’s relatives: Gaza ministry, family

Two relatives of the director of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau were killed in an Israeli air strike on Monday, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory and family members said. Brothers Ahmed al-Dahdouh, 30, and Muhammad al-Dahdouh, 26, were travelling in a car when it was hit in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah, the ministry said, adding a third man accompanying them was also killed. The bureau chief, Wael al-Dahdouh, confirmed to AFP that the two men were his nephews. Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Gaza health ministry, accused Israel of “targeting a civilian car”. “I offer my condolences to Wael al-Dahdouh for the death of his relatives,” Qudra said in a statement. Contacted by AFP, the Israeli army said it was “checking” the claim. AFP footage showed the mangled remains of the car, with its roof ripped off by the strike. Muhammad worked as an accountant at a school and Ahmed was an electronics engineer, a relative said. Al Jazeera on Sunday said a similar strike in Rafah killed two Palestinian journalists working for it, including Dahdouh’s son Hamza. Hamza was killed along with Mustafa Thuria, who also worked as a video stringer for AFP and other news organisations, “while they were on their way to carry out their duty” for the Qatar-based network, it said. A third freelance journalist travelling with them, Hazem Rajab, was seriously wounded along with the driver. The Israeli army, when asked about Sunday’s strike, told AFP that it had “struck a terrorist who operated an aircraft that posed a threat” to troops. The army said it was “aware of the reports that during the strike, two other suspects who were in the same vehicle as the terrorist were also hit”. The Al Jazeera bureau director was recently wounded himself in a strike, and had lost his wife and two other children in Israeli bombardment in the initial weeks of the war. Violence erupted on October 7 when Hamas militants carried out a deadly attack on southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of around 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. Israel’s retaliatory land, air and sea assault has killed at least 23,084 people in Gaza, the majority of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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