Prominent photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, recognized for his poignant documentation of the civilian impact of Israeli air strikes in Gaza, has evacuated the region and relocated to Qatar.
Azaiza, whose global fame surged during Israel's war, shared a heartfelt message on Instagram moments before boarding a Qatari military aircraft at Egypt’s El Arish International Airport. The motive behind his evacuation remains uncertain.
With millions of followers across various social media platforms, Azaiza's departure comes at a time of heightened peril for journalists in the conflict zone. The ongoing war has inflicted a heavy toll on media personnel, with at least 83 media workers confirmed dead, and numerous others facing threats, arrests, and assaults.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is actively investigating these incidents, emphasizing the importance of recognizing journalists as civilians engaged in essential work during times of crisis, urging against their targeting by warring parties.
Journalists in Gaza encounter severe risks amid Israeli ground assaults, featuring airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages, and power outages. Since October 7, a staggering 119 journalists have lost their lives in Israeli attacks in Gaza.
Azaiza expressed hope to return in the future to contribute to the reconstruction efforts in Gaza.