Just International

Where is Gaza Journalist Bayan Abu Sultan?

By Dr Marwan Asmar

Abu Sultan’s whereabouts is deeply worrying for Reporters sans frontiers especially since the vicinity of Al Shifa Hospital continues to be a war front for Israel.

Al Shifa Hospital is still besieged by the Israeli army. It has been so since 18 March and there is no knowing when the soldiers will pull out of the area, creating havoc in the communities surrounding the communities are the complex.

The latest casualty is journalist Bayan Abu Sultan. No one knows where she is. She was last seen on 19 March when she was taken for questioning by the Israeli army when they raided the Al Shifa complex.

The French Reporters sans frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) is concerned about her disappearance and is demanding answers from the Israeli army under the tag of @BayanPalestine.

She was taken along with a number of other journalists who gathered at Al Shifa complex for its convenience and connectivity. The Al Jazeera reporter Ismail Al Ghoul and his crew were among those arrested and the broadcast equipment of journalists were smashed. However, Al Ghoul was later freed.

Abu Sultan’s last post on her X account was on 19 of March when she said that the Israeli forces just murdered her “only brother in front of my eyes.”

She made another post the day before saying “we have a lot of injured after the homes of our neighbors behind Al Shifa Hospital were targeted,” asking if there is a “hospital or clinic operating west of Gaza?” And pointing out “their situation is critical and we don’t know what to do with them.”

But shortly after that communications were cut off from the Al Shifa Hospital which subsequently came to witness much fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian resistance fighters.

However, and in a related story in the Palestine Chronicle, the website quotes a fellow journalist in Gaza, Ahmed El Madhoun, who says Abu Sultan is not missing she is still in her house in the back of Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza with several other neighbors.

Since the Israeli war on Gaza after 7 October around 137 journalists were targeted and killed in Gaza with the latest being Mohamad Abu Sukheil who was shoot dead inside Al Shifa Hospital by Israeli forces. This is the highest number in world history and in such a short period of time, far more than the whole of the journalists killed in World War II.

Meanwhile, the Al Shifa complex continues to be under siege. Civil Defense spokesman Mahmoud Basal says that there are hundreds of casualties in the vicinity of the Al Shifa complex and this is due to the relentless Israeli strikes there.

As well, it has been reported that more than 200 civilians seeking refuge in the hospital’s compound has been killed by Israeli soldiers who also arrested more than 1000 civilians.

Dr Marwan Asmar is a journalist from Amman covering Middle East affairs

29 March 2024

Source: countercurrents.org

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