Motaz Azaiza, a journalist who gained prominence for documenting the Israel-Hamas war, has left Gaza after months of covering the conflict.

Journalist Motaz Azaiza Flees Gaza After Months Of Covering Israel-Hamas War

Motaz Azaiza, a young Palestinian journalist renowned for documenting Israel’s ongoing assault, has made the decision to evacuate from Gaza amid the deteriorating situation in the enclave, particularly for members of the press.

In a video posted on Instagram on Tuesday, the 24-year-old announced his departure, expressing that it would be the last time viewers see him wearing the recognizable blue ‘PRESS’ jacket. Azaiza, who began wearing the vest over 100 days ago during the conflict, stated, “I decided to evacuate today. I’m sorry, but inshallah, hopefully soon I’ll come back and help to build Gaza again.”

The video concluded with Azaiza’s colleagues, including well-known journalists like Hind Khoudary, assisting him in removing the vest. Azaiza expressed his gratitude and sentiment, saying, “I’ll miss these people,” as he embraced the journalists and flashed a peace sign.

Subsequent videos on Azaiza’s Instagram Stories documented his journey boarding a Qatari military airplane from Egypt and arriving in Doha. This marked his first experience on an airplane, and he pondered his emotions in a video taken inside the aircraft.

Motaz Azaiza, a journalist who gained prominence for documenting the Israel-Hamas war, has left Gaza after months of covering the conflict.
Motaz Azaiza, a journalist who gained prominence for documenting the Israel-Hamas war, has left Gaza after months of covering the conflict. (Credits: Arab News)

Azaiza did not disclose whether Qatar was his final destination and did not provide specific details about why or how he evacuated, only mentioning on Twitter that he had to leave “for a lot of reasons,” with some known but not all.

The relentless Israeli bombardment of Gaza, now labeled as genocide by several countries, continues with no apparent end in sight. The toll stands at more than 25,000 Palestinians dead, and many others are displaced, facing starvation, severe injuries, or trapped under rubble.

The recent escalation of violence occurred after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, resulting in about 1,200 casualties and approximately 200 hostages, some of whom have been returned.

Journalists in Gaza have been working to counter Israeli propaganda, revealing the harsh realities faced by Palestinian civilians and institutions.

Azaiza, with his Instagram follower count reaching 18.3 million, has focused on sharing raw and often distressing content depicting Palestinian families, especially children, struggling to survive Israeli airstrikes on homes and hospitals. He has also produced content for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

Despite facing personal losses and challenges such as supply shortages and communication blackouts, Gaza’s journalists continue to document the ongoing tragedy.

The alarming rate of Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli airstrikes has drawn international condemnation, with more than 100 journalists reported dead since Oct. 7, and 38 Palestinian journalists arrested by Israel in the same period, according to Reporters Without Borders.

As casualties mount, journalists in Gaza are left with difficult choices—risk their lives to report the truth or make the challenging decision to leave their homeland for safety, uncertain if they can return. Azaiza follows in the footsteps of high-profile journalist Plestia Alaqad, who previously announced her decision to end on-the-ground reporting in Gaza and seek safety in Australia.

Social media users have hailed Azaiza as a “hero,” expressing gratitude for his efforts in revealing the truth about Israel’s actions, making Gaza uninhabitable.

Hind Khoudary, in an Instagram post dedicated to Azaiza, wrote, “Writing this with a heavy heart and mixed emotions… You’ve been an incredible friend and brother. Your actions towards Palestine and Gaza set a unique mark in history. You’re a kindhearted, passionate, and generous soul. A true dreamer.”

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