In the early hours of the morning of May 19th 2021, between approximately 4am to 4.30am, Yousef Abu Hussein, a 32 year old journalist from Al-Aqsa (the Voice of Jerusalem) Radio, was killed when Israeli forces allegedly launched three missiles which hit the fourth and fifth floors of a five-story building in the Al Radwan Junction in Al Jala Street, in the Shiekh Radwan neighbourhood, Gaza.
According to various news sources, the apartment was Mr Hussein’s family home. His father, Muhammed Abu Hussein, told Al Jazeera, “we were able to get out of the house. But my boy, Yousef… was killed.”
Al-Watan News and Al-Araby Politics reported that these missiles were launched without warning.
There was large-scale domestic and international reporting of this airstrike from news outlets and journalism associations.
Aqsa TV Channel released a video featuring Yousef Abu Hussein, their former colleague, with the caption “The martyr of the truth… Yousef Abu Hussein”. According to news reports, Yousef Abu Hussein had worked at Al-Asqa for 12 years.
Later the same day of May 19th 2021, Amad News reported that “the Central Movement Office for Journalists mourned in the Gaza Square on Wednesday” and Palestine Now reported that “Al Aqsa Radio organises a condemnation and denunciation of the crime of assassinating the journalist martyr Yusef Abu Hussein and rejecting the occupation’s crimes against journalists” and included photographs of journalists and others congregating with pictures of the deceased.
Shihab News posted photos of the funeral of Yousef Abu Hussein on Facebook, including a photograph of crowds gathered around his body, decorated with his journalist press vest. English-language outlets, including Quds News Network, Middle East Eye, AJ+, Al Jazeera, Middle East Monitor, Anadolu Agency, The Washington Post and Democracy Now! also reported of his death. AJ+ added that “groups say Israel has bombed at least 18 media outlets this week, plus internet providers, imposing a media blackout.”
The New York Times was another English-language news outlet that covered Yousef Abu Hussein’s funeral. They reported that “he was the first journalist to be killed in the latest Israeli bombardment of the territory.” However, this is somewhat conflicted by the Journalist Support Committee in Geneva which released a statement that “the committee confirmed that the loss of Abu Hussein today, in addition to two other journalists (Abdul Hamid al-Kawlak and Muhammad Abdel Moneim Shaheen) during the past days.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also condemned “the killing of Palestinian journalist Yousef Abu Hussein in Gaza and called on Israeli authorities to immediately clarify whether they deliberately struck his home.” CPJ also reported that they “emailed the Israeli Defence Force’s North America Desk for comment and provided information including the neighbourhood, date, and approximate time of the bombing; an IDF representative responded by asking for more precise information, and said they were looking into it.”
The Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate also denounced the airstrike on May 19th 2021 and extended their condolences to the journalist’s family.
Yousef Abu Hussein’s friend and colleague, Muhammad Balusha, journalist and radio presenter at the National Media Agency, said of the deceased to Al-Watan News, “the martyr was covering the latest escalation around the clock, and when he decided to go to his house to rest for a few hours, today he was the only one who left the radio, and his house was targeted by the occupation planes.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that Yousef Abu Hussein’s last Facebook post included pictures of the destruction from Israeli airstrikes and efforts to rescue people from under rubble.
Yousef Abu Hussein was a husband and father of three children. There are various reports and videos of his young son attending his funeral, for example @adham922, reported that he was “chanting at the top of his voice, “The martyr Habibullah,” and the martyr is his father, the journalist Youssef Abu Hussein.”
No sources mention that there were any others killed or injured in this attack.
The incident occured at approximately 4:00 am local time.
The victims were named as:
Sources (66) [ collapse]
from sources (40) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck near the intersection of Al Radwan (الشيخ رضوان) and Al Jalaa Street (شارع الجلاء) in Gaza city. Analyzing visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 31.528643, 34.467677.