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Lamentations Of Photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, ‘Ghosts Of Gaza Follow Me Everywhere’

Lamentations Of Photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, ‘Ghosts Of Gaza Follow Me Everywhere’ 

Motaz Azaiza standing on a near-deserted street, wearing a press jacket and helmet. He has one camera hanging around his neck and his holding another in his hand.

Two weeks after being evacuated, the 25-year-old Palestinian – who has amassed 18.5m followers on Instagram – sat down with the Guardian to share his experiences of the war.

Motaz Azaiza should have been dead by now. Death stalked the streets of Deir al-Balah where he grew up, long before Israel’s assault on Gaza. There had been close encounters in the past; as a teen he was once shot by an Israeli sniper.

When Israel launched its offensive in Gaza after the 7 October Hamas attacks, Azaiza picked up his camera and headed to the frontlines. Despite his clearly marked press vest, in December he narrowly avoided being hit again by Israeli forces. Israel denies targeting journalists but, according to a group of UN experts, more than 122 journalists and media professionals in Gaza have been killed so far: the deadliest conflict for members of the press in recent history.

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