In a tragic turn of events, Mohamed Abu Al-Qumsan, an Al Jazeera broadcast engineer working in Gaza, lost 19 members of his family during the Israeli bombing of the Jabalia refugee camp. The Israeli forces were targeting Hamas operatives in the area during their ground battle. Among the victims were Mohamed’s father, brother, two sisters, eight nephews, and nieces, along with other relatives. Al Jazeera reported the incident as a “massacre” by the Israeli forces.
This devastating event followed the loss of another Al Jazeera correspondent’s wife, son, daughter, and grandson in a previous Israeli air raid. Israel, committed to dismantling Hamas, stated that the strike on the Jabalia camp resulted in 47 casualties, including a senior Hamas commander linked to an earlier attack on October 7, which had led to Israel declaring a war against Hamas.
Palestinian authorities reported a higher death toll of over 50 in the refugee camp bombing. The explosion occurred in the densely populated Jabalia camp just before nightfall. Israel claimed that its warplanes targeted a tunnel complex, which resulted in the deaths of several Hamas operatives, including commander Ibrahim Biari. However, Hamas denied the presence of any of its leaders at the camp.
An Israeli military spokesman emphasized Biari’s pivotal role in planning and executing the October 7 Hamas raids into Israel, during which approximately 1,400 people, mostly civilians, lost their lives.
Israel has expanded its ground operations in Gaza and ruled out a ceasefire in its ongoing conflict against Hamas. The conflict began after Hamas launched a significant rocket attack on Israel on October 7, and its operatives carried out acts of violence in border towns, including killing and kidnapping civilians. Currently, at least 230 hostages taken from Israel and brought across the Gaza border by Hamas remain in captivity.