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 “Were they targeted because I'm a photojournalist?” /></p>
<p> Mahmud Hams Agence France-Presse Palestinian photojournalist Mohammed Alaloul held the shrouded body of one of his children killed in a strike on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in Deir Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on November 5. </p>
<p>“What did my children do to deserve this? » At 10:30 p.m. on the night of November 4, the home of photojournalist Mohammed Alaloul in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza was destroyed by a strike that killed 17 of his relatives, including four of his children, ages 4 to 13. “No matter how much I talk, no words can describe the pain inside me,” he whispers in a video interview with <i>Le Devoir</i>, bursting into tears. Why were they targeted? Is it because I’m a photojournalist? »</p>
<p>In addition to his children Ahmad, 13, Rahaf, 11, Kenan, 6, and Qays, 4, Mohammed lost in this tragedy three of his brothers, his sister, three nephews as well as friends and neighbors who found at his home. His wife and youngest son, Adam, who celebrated his first birthday two days after the tragedy, survived.</p>
<p>Since the early hours of the Israeli response to the Hamas attacks, Mohammed, who is a photographer and cameraman, has been on the ground documenting what is unfolding in Gaza. His images are broadcast by the Turkish news agency Anadolu, for which he works, and disseminated on his Instagram account, while no foreign journalist manages to enter the Palestinian enclave.</p>
<p>“A rocket lands on my house and blows it up. Is it because I am documenting Israeli aggression? raises the 37-year-old man, a few days after the tragedy. I am only photographing the reality taking place in Gaza. I'm not making photos, I'm just documenting what's really happening, what they're doing. »</p>
<h2 class=“They were killed while I was away from them”

Mohammed Alaloul was working in southern Gaza when the house in which he grew up was pulverized. “During wars, as photojournalists, we only go home every 10 or 15 days,” he explains. The day before the tragedy, he was at home.

“The last person I saw was my son Kenan. He would always say to me, “Dad, tell them to let you go from work, please stay home with us, we miss you.” » Since Mohammed was injured by a rocket shrapnel in 2021, his children were constantly worried about him. When he came home, he was greeted with tears of joy and hugs. “My children would spend half an hour clinging to me. […] They were afraid that I would die, but it was me who lost them. They were killed while I was away from them. »

The last person I saw was my son Kenan. He used to tell me all the time: “Dad, tell them to let you go from work, please stay home with us, we miss you.”

— Mohammed Alaloul < /strong>

Ahmad, 13, wanted to become a doctor, his father said. “He was everything to me, my friend, my son, my brother, everything. » Rahaf, 11, was her only daughter. “You know how sweet girls are. I was spoiling her. She wanted to become a teacher. I bought him school supplies, a writing board, erasers, chalk. » Six-year-old Kenan wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a photographer. “He was a soccer player. His brother Ahmad, who was seven years older, couldn’t get the ball away from him. He was so energetic and so handsome,” Mohammed said through tears. As for Qays, 4, “he raised himself, I took him to the park and he came home alone, he was an angel.”

Due to the explosion, the woman of Mohammed was burned all over her body and received shrapnel in her hands and feet. “She doesn’t sleep at night anymore,” her husband said. 1-year-old Adam is in shock. “He refuses to be held in his mother’s arms. The only person who can comfort him is me. » For a week, their nights have been filled with tears. “We are unable to dry our tears. »

Leaving after losing everything


Despite the tragedy that struck his family, Mohammed plans to return to the field to document the tragedies playing out in Gaza. “It’s my duty to show what’s happening. And I don't want to give Israel the satisfaction of thinking that it has succeeded in getting journalists to stop working. » But today the man has only one idea in mind: to leave Gaza.

After the destruction of his house, Mohammed found refuge with his in-laws in Rafah, in the south from Gaza. “There is no water, no bread, no food, no health services. My wife cannot get treatment. » And the danger is constant, even in the south of the enclave. “I don’t want to lose the only son I have left. »

The photojournalist hopes to obtain asylum, in Canada or the United States. “There is nothing to keep me in Gaza anymore. I don't want to stay here, he implores. I lost everything. »

With Maye Ostowani, performer

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116