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Family of Al Jazeera correspondent killed in Israeli airstrike in Gaza

An Al Jazeera correspondent is mourning the loss of his entire immediate family after they were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza.

Wael al-Dahdouh, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, had fled with his family to the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza after Israel warned those in the northern half of the territory to leave immediately.

Al-Dahdouh’s wife, son, daughter and grandson were killed in the airstrike late on Tuesday, which came amid an overnight surge of Israeli attacks reported to have killed hundreds of people.

In a statement, al-Dahdouh’s employer, Al Jazeera, said: “Their home was targeted in the Nuseirat camp in the centre of Gaza, where they had sought refuge after being displaced by the initial bombardment in their neighborhood, following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for all civilians to move south.

“The network strongly condemns the indiscriminate targeting and killing of innocent civilians in Gaza, which has led to the loss of Wael Al-Dahdouh’s family and countless others.”

Twenty-one other people died in the same airstrike, according to Palestinian health officials.

Other members of al-Dahdouh’s family were buried under the rubble, according to the news outlet. Footage broadcast by Al Jazeera showed al-Dahdouh crying as he saw his family’s bodies in the morgue of Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on his way out of the hospital, al-Dahdouh said: “What happened is clear. This is a series of targeted attacks on children, women and civilians. I was just reporting from Yarmouk about such an attack, and the Israeli raids have targeted many areas, including Nuseirat.

“We had our doubts that the Israeli occupation would not let these people go without punishing them. And sadly, that is what happened. This is the ‘safe’ area that the occupation army spoke of.”

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the strike, according to Reuters.

Israeli strikes have killed more than 6,500 people in Gaza, since Hamas killed some 1,400 people in its 7 October raid into Israel. Nearly 600,000 people have been displaced from their homes by Israeli bombardments.

The Gaza victims include more than 22 journalists, according to the Palestinian journalists’ union.

Israel and its allies have so far rejected calls for a ceasefire, which the White House has argued would only benefit Hamas.

The US last week vetoed a draft UN security council resolution calling for a “humanitarian pause”, since it did not explicitly allow for Israel’s self-defense.

On Wednesday, the UN’s main agency in Gaza warned that relief efforts would be forced to stop unless fuel supplies could reach the besieged territory, as the UK organization Oxfam accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war against Gaza civilians, saying the territory was receiving just 2% of its usual supply of food.