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War on Gaza: Al Jazeera journalist beaten, arrested by Israeli forces from al-Shifa hospital

Ismail Alghoul and a number of other journalists were taken to an unknown destination
A picture posted on Ismail Alghoul's X account showing him reporting to Al Jazeera Arabic TV from al-Shifa hospital in Gaza (X)

Israeli forces arrested one of the last remaining correspondents of Al Jazeera Arabic in Gaza during a raid on al-Shifa hospital on Monday, the Qatar-based network said. 

Ismail Alghoul was "severely beaten" before he was seized from the besieged hospital, Al Jazeera said, quoting eyewitnesses.

Tweets posted on Alghoul's X account said the Israeli army had stormed the journalist's room, "where he was with other journalists, where they were severely beaten and dragged before they were arrested and taken to an unknown destination."

Al Jazeera said in a statement that Alghoul was attacked while performing his journalistic duties and demanded his immediate release, along with the release of the other journalists who were detained with him.

"The targeting [of Alghoul] is an attempt by the occupation army to intimidate journalists to stop them from reporting its crimes against civilians in Gaza," Al Jazeera said.

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Israeli forces also destroyed Al Jazeera’s vehicle, cameras and equipment.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned Alghoul's arrest.

“Journalists play an essential role in a war. They are the eyes and the ears that we need to document what’s happening and with every journalist killed, with every journalist arrested, our ability to understand what’s happening in Gaza diminishes significantly,” Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive officer of the CPJ, told Al Jazeera.

The media monitor said it was alarmed by the Israeli assault on Alghoul and other staff members, and called for their immediate release.

“The IDF should immediately release Al-Ghoul and other detained Palestinian journalists and take steps to protect the members of the media covering this war,” CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna said. 

Alghoul was covering Israel’s new raid on al-Shifa hospital in the early hours of Monday, just as Palestinians were preparing to have their pre-fast Ramadan meal before dawn. 

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The attack started shortly after 2 am local time with tanks surrounding the hospital before shelling some of its buildings, including the surgery department, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

At least 30,000 people were inside the hospital at the time of the attack, including displaced families, patients and medical staff. 

Al Jazeera described Alghoul’s arrest as part of "a series of systematic attacks on Al Jazeera by the occupation authorities, which included the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, Samer Abu Daqqa, and Hamza al-Dahdouh, the bombing of its office in Gaza, the deliberate targeting of a number of its journalists and their family members, and the arrest and intimidation of its crews."

Al Jazeera journalists Abu Daqqa and Dahdouh were killed in an attack that targeted their car as they were travelling in with two other journalists. Hamza Dahdouh's father, Wael al-Dahdouh, Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief, was also wounded in a separate attack.

At least 90 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza and three in Lebanon since the war broke out on 7 October, according to preliminary investigations by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

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