Al-Jazeera Denies Connection With Journalist Who Israel Says Held Hostages in His Home

Al-Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief Omar al-Walid denied on Sunday that journalist Abdullah Al-Jamal, who was killed in the Israeli raid to rescue hostages held by Hamas, worked for the outlet and held Israeli hostages in his home. “This man is not from Al-Jazeera, and he did not work for Al-Jazeera at all, and he is not listed as working for Al-Jazeera neither now nor in the past,” al-Walid said in a statement.

“We do not know him, and all the rumors that have been spread are empty of content and not true at all,” he added. The Arabic-language news network said it would sue those who spread rumors of current connections between Al-Jazeera and al-Walid, the Times of Israel reported.

However, the Israel Defense Forces posted a tweet with a screenshot of a bio for Al-Jamal on Al-Jazeera’s website. TheWrap located the bio on Al-Jazeera’s website as well.

The Palestine Chronicle, a news and media company that is based in Olympia, Washington, confirmed that Al-Jamal wrote for them from the region

In its social media post on Sunday the IDF pointed out the connection between the network and Al-Jamal, who they said held hostages Almog Meir Jan, Andry Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv in his home. The tweet read, “‘Journalist’ Abdallah Al-Jamal was a Hamas terrorist holding Almog, Andrey, and Shlomi hostage in his family’s home in Nuseirat. No press vest can make him innocent of the crimes he has committed. @AlJazeera what’s this terrorist doing on your website?”

The Palestine Chronicle confirmed Al-Jamal’s death on Sunday. In its report, the news organization disputed the claim that Al-Jamal harbored Israeli hostages, based on the word of “respected commentators and journalists online.”

An author page for Al-Jamal showed that he authored an opinion piece copublished by Al-Jazeera in 2019, possibly as a freelance journalist.

Ramy Abdul, the chairman of nonprofit Euro-Med Monitor — which advocates for human rights in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa — published a series of tweets about Al-Jamal and the rescue of the hostages, as well as the deaths of at least 270 people at the Nuseirat refugee camp. The number of deaths come from data provided by the Gaza Health Ministry, which operates under the region’s Hamas-controlled government. That total has not been independently verified.

Abdul explained, “In an initial testimony documenting the killings committed by the Israeli army in the Nuseirat camp today, the @EuroMedHR reported that the Israeli army used a ladder to enter the home of Dr. Ahmed Al-Jamal. The army immediately executed 36-year-old Fatima Al-Jamal upon encountering her on the staircase. The forces then stormed the house and executed her husband, journalist Abdullah Al-Jamal, 36, and his father, Dr. Ahmed, 74, in front of his grandchildren. The army also shot their daughter, Zainab, 27, who sustained serious injuries.”

The Euro-Med Monitor chairman later added, “Abdallah Al-Jamal is a freelance journalist used to work for several media outlets. In recent years, he has served as the spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Labor.”

Muhammad Shehada, the chief of communities at Euro-Med Monitor, earlier questioned the possibility. In a series of tweets, he wrote, “The building where Abdallah lived was one of 7 homes reportedly raided by the IDF on June 8. Hostages were held in only 2 of these buildings, not yet clear which. The other homes belong to the families Matar, Salihia, Ayish, Jodeh, al-Habash.”

“The IDF now claims it was NOT Noa Argamani in the building where Abdallah lived but the 3 male hostages. This raises the likelihood that he didn’t know, b/c he lived on the 1st floor & the hostages were kept on the 3rd in an apartment building,” Shehada added.

Argamani told Israeli News 12 that she had been held in “a wealthy family’s home” in Gaza.

Thus far, it does not appear the IDF has released any statements from Meir Jan, Kozlov or Ziv about the identities of who they were held by in Gaza, nor have there been any reports that indicate the three men have been asked specifically about Al-Jamal.

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