Category: Press Releases, MENA, Palestinian Territories

IPI laments passing of two journalists in the Gaza strip

Palestinian reporter Ali Abu Afash, was killed along photojournalist, Simone Camilli, while exploring an ordnance dump


Mr. Ali Abu Afash, pictured here in Gaza, assisted the IPI delegation during its fact-finding mission to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza in February of last year. Mr. Daoud Kuttab, an IPI board member who participated in this mission, described Mr. Afash as a generous person with an ever-present smile.

VIENNA, Aug 14, 2014 - The International Press Institute (IPI) is saddened to learn that media worker Ali Abu Afash was killed in Gaza on Wednesday, according to reports. Afash, who worked for the Gaza Centre for Media Freedom as a translator and journalist, had accompanied an IPI delegation during its visit to Gaza in 2013. 

Daoud Kuttab, an IPI board member who joined the fact-finding mission to Gaza last year, said: "I can't forget Ali's ever-present smile, his generosity and hospitality and his optimism, even though he was living in the besieged Gaza strip. He wanted to do so much with media, and wanted to train as many fellow Gazans as possible. I will miss his smile and pray that I can have half his optimism."

Afash was killed along with Associated Press journalist Simone Camilli while reporting on the aftermath of the recent war, when a previously unexploded missile that was being disposed of detonated, according to reports from the Associated Press, the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, and MADA. In total, five people were killed by the explosion, and several others were seriously injured, reports say. 

Naomi Hunt, Senior Press Freedom Adviser for Africa and the Middle East, said: "We are saddened by the death of Afash and Simone Camilli. This incident shows the dangers that journalists and those who support them continue to face as a result of conflict, even though the immediate hostilities may be over. It reminds us of their courage in following the story." 

Afash leaves behind a wife and two young daughters, while Camilli is survived by his partner and three year-old daughter. IPI extends its condolences to their family, friends and colleagues.

Camilli is the third journalist to be killed while on assignment in Gaza since the conflict began last month, according to the IPI Death Watch.