Mansour Shouman, a Palestinian-Canadian journalist and aid worker in Gaza, disappeared for more than two weeks during heavy Israeli bombardment, before resurfacing and making contact with colleagues.
Shouman and his family, who had previously lived in Calgary, have lived since 2022 in Gaza, where Shouman’s wife grew up. His family were able to leave Gaza in Nov. 2023, but he chose to stay to document the conflict and help as an aid worker, he told BBC. Since then, he has shared videos documenting the situation on the ground, given interviews to international media and raised money for humanitarian aid.
Shouman’s Canada-based colleagues lost contact with him between Jan. 21, when he sent a video clip from Khan Younis, southern Gaza, and Feb. 5. Heavy fighting was reported in Khan Younis on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22.
Shouman’s colleagues had said that witnesses had reported seeing Israeli soldiers detain Shouman as he was travelling from Nasser hospital to Rafah in southern Gaza.
In a video posted on Feb. 6, Shouman said he and a group of volunteers had left Nasser Hospital, where he had been staying, to check on a “tent project” in Khan Younis. Shouman had previously posted on GoFundMe about raising money to buy tents for people displaced in Gaza.
In the Feb. 6 video, Shouman said that he and the others had left their phones at the hospital, fearing that they could be used by Israeli forces to locate the group. After arriving at their destination, Shouman said he saw Israeli drones and heard gunfire, and saw advancing Israeli troops, who he accused of targeting civilians.
“We had to run for cover, and for the last two weeks we have been going from house to house,” Shouman said in the video. He described evading gunfire and bombardment, before eventually making it back to Nasser Hospital two weeks after he had left.
The Israeli Defense Forces and Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.