Mansour Shouman, a father of five, moved to the enclave from Canada in 2022 with his family. His wife and children returned to Canada following the Israeli military’s attacks on Gaza after the 7 October Hamas massacre, but Mr Shouman stayed to help report on what was happening.
He last made contact with his team on 21 January and has not been heard from since leading to fears for his safety.
Shadi Sakr, a volunteer in Canada who helps Mr Shouman post clips online, said the journalist was in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis and sent him a video.
“Please get this back to me quickly,” Mr Shouman said in the footage. “I don’t have a lot of time.”
In an emotional appeal, his mother recorded a message beseeching the international community to help find her son.
She said in a video posted on his page on X: “My heart is burning. I want to hear news about him. Please, if any of you know anything about his team, try to tell his team who are trying day and night to look for him.”
His disappearance comes over a month after Mr Shouman told The Independent of his concerns Israeli forces are targeting Palestinian journalists in Gaza, with several of his colleagues killed in strikes.
Sheltering in a tent next to a maternity ward in Khan Younis’ Nasser hospital, he said on 19 December: “If Israel thinks that by doing this to us, they will make us kneel, they are wrong.
“As a man and as a Muslim, I am instinctively focused on protecting and preserving civilian life in Gaza,” he said. “Every day Israel strikes us, it puts more light and more fire in people to work harder for freedom.
“Even after more than 40 days of force, starvation, malnutrition, blackouts, losing loved ones, losing wealth, people say Alhamdulillah (praise God) because we feel like we are the right side of history here.”
According to reports from workers of relief organisations who Mr Shouman was assisting, he was taken into custody by Israeli troops.
Mr Sakr told CBC News: “They said they saw him leave the Nasser Hospital to go to Rafah and that he was apprehended on his way by the IDF.”
Another member of the team in Canada told The Canadian Press that three eyewitnesses said they saw Mr Shouman being taken by the IDF when he was leaving Khan Younis to go to Rafah. The Independent has been unable to verify these reports.
The disappearance of Mr Shouman has invoked outrage and concern on social media and on the streets of Canada. A petition demanding the immediate release of Mr Shouman has gathered over 120,000 signatures online, while protests demanding his release took place in Ottawa and Calgary.
The Israeli military has yet to comment on Mr Shouman’s disappearance but has previously denied targeting journalists and says it makes every effort to avoid harming civilians in its war on Hamas.