Roshdi Sarraj

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A 31-year-old Palestinian photojournalist and co-founder of Ain Media, a Palestinian company specializing in professional media services, Roshdi Sarraj was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, WafaSky News, and Al-Jazeera. His wife and toddler daughter were injured in the same strike, according to those sources.

Sarraj was a childhood friend of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja, another co-founder of Ain Media, who was murdered on April 07, 2018, while covering protests in the area east of Khan Younis, Gaza.

Murtaja and Sarraj shared an immense passion for photography, which led them to start Ain Media in 2012. After Murtaja’s death, Sarraj continued running the company and reporting on Gaza.

According to the Turkish TRT World, Sarraj was in Saudi Arabia when the Israel-Gaza war started on October 7, and later went to Qatar for work. His widow, Shuruq Al-Ayla, told TRT that Sarraj then decided to return to Gaza to document the war.

On the morning of October 22, the family sat down to have breakfast when an Israeli missile struck the house, killing Sarraj on the spot.

In his last post on Facebook on October 13, Sarraj wrote: “We won’t leave. We’ll exit Gaza to the sky, the sky only.” On October 17, Sarraj tweeted on X: “A lack of media coverage from Gaza due to the killing [of] more than 12 journalists, the bombing, and the blackout of electricity and the Internet.  However, we are still trying to withstand and continue coverage so the world can see the Israeli crimes in Gaza.”

The Washington Post said that Sarraj appealed for the safety of Gaza’s journalists days before he was killed, telling the newspaper in a voice message in October “We need international protection.”

The Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, said in a statement on November 9: “I deplore the killing of Roshdi Sarraj. I reiterate my call to respect UN Security Council Resolution 2222/2015 on the protection of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel as civilians in situations of conflict and I call for a full investigation into the circumstances of his death.”

 Sarraj also worked as a photographer and fixer for non-governmental organizations and multiple media outlets, including Al-Araby and Al-Jazeera – where he worked on documentaries – and the UN relief agency UNRWA.

Thousands of Palestinians were killed in the first months of the Israel-Gaza war, which began on October 7 after Hamas militants attacked Israel, leaving about 1,200 Israelis dead.