Martin Fletcher is an English author and former NBC News’ Middle East correspondent and Tel Aviv Bureau chief.
He has been covering world events for thirty-five years, mostly for NBC News, and has won almost every award in TV journalism, including the du Pont, known as the TV Pulitzer, five Overseas Press Club awards, the Edward R. Murrow award and more.
Additionally, Fletcher is the author of several books, including Breaking News, Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation and Promised Land.
His second book, Walking Israel, won the American National Jewish Book Award.
Fletcher’s first novel, The List, was selected as the One Book One Jewish Community book of the year.
Who is Martin Fletcher’s wife?
Nothing much is known about Fletcher’s wife who has been identified as Hagar.
Recently, the former Israel-based NBC correspondent first shared on the air that two members of his wife’s family are being held hostage by Hamas.
However, they were released on Saturday, October 21.
Israeli prime minister’s office and Fletcher confirmed the release of Judith Raanan and her daughter, Natalie.
The mother and daughter were greeted at the Gaza border by Israeli Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch and were then taken to a military base deeper into Israel where they were reunited with relatives.
Fletcher first shared news of his wife’s family members being kidnapped during an appearance on The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle show.
He, however, did not note how they are related to his wife.
“They’re from Evanston, Illinois. They’re Americans. They were visiting their grandmother for her 85th birthday. And they were last seen with their hands tied, being dragged away by the Hamas terrorists
“So it’s personal, it’s real, and nobody is really confident that it’s possible to get them back alive. Of course, everybody’s hoping,” Fletcher said.
Martin Fletcher career
Fletcher was born in London in 1947 to a Jewish family, the son of Georg and Edith, Austrian Jewish refugees to London.
He graduated from the University of Bradford in 1970.
Fletcher began his news career in 1970 when he went to work as a television news programming writer for VisNews.
In 1971, he transferred to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) where he was a writer for the 9 O’ Clock News, the BBC’s national evening news program.
From his base in Tel Aviv, Fletcher has covered a full spectrum of breaking news developments throughout the Middle East and around the world.
He has reported on the war on terror in Afghanistan, the conflict in Kosovo, and he reported from Berlin when the walls came down and from China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
During the American hostage situation in November 1979 in Teheran, Fletcher was the first television correspondent to enter the American Embassy.
He left NBC News after 32 years to work on his fourth book (and second novel) but returned to NBC in 2010 as a freelance Special Correspondent.
He also reports for PBS Weekend Newshour.
Martin Fletcher books
Fletcher is the author of several books, including Breaking News,which has received universal recognition as one of the best books ever on the work of a foreign correspondent.
His second book, Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation, was published in October 2010 and won the American National Jewish Book Award.
His first novel, The List, published in 2011, was selected as the One Book One Jewish Community book of the year.
Fletcher is also the author of The Good Caff Guide, Almost Heaven: Travels Through the Backwoods of America and Silver Linings: Travels around Northern Ireland.
He has won several awards throughout his career, including the Citation for Excellence from the Overseas Press Club of America in 1988 for his coverage of the first Palestinian uprising, in 1994 for his coverage in Bosnia, and again in 2001 for the second uprising.
Fletcher was honored with his fifth Emmy in 2006 for coverage of Israel’s war with Hezbollah.
He was named feature writer of the year in the 2015 British Press Awards and was shortlisted for feature writer of the year in the British Press Awards of 2016, foreign journalist of the year in the British Press Awards of 2007 and 2010, travel writer of the year in the British Press Awards of 2018, best print journalist in the Foreign Press Association Awards of 2009, and best environment story in the Foreign Press Association Awards of 2014.
Fletcher is now retired from reporting, although he still coaches NBC reporters on how to tell memorable stories.
He considers himself luckier than nearly all of his colleagues, having a family that helped keep him grounded.
When he returned from covering some disaster, his wife would often meet him at the door, hand him a baby, and say, “Oh, you’re home. Your turn.”
Hamas is an Islamist organization with a military wing that emerged in 1987 out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist group founded in Egypt in the late 1920s.
Hamas presents itself as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has recognized Israel and has engaged in multiple failed peace initiatives with it.
The PA, whose credibility among Palestinians has suffered over the years, is today led by President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas rules Gaza, the small strip of land bordering Israel and Egypt that has changed hands several times over the past 70 years.
The vast majority of its population are descendants of refugees who were either expelled or forced to flee their homes in 1948 in what is now Israel.
The recent Israel vs Hamas war began on October 7, 2023, after Hamas launched a massive surprise assault on southern Israel, the deadliest single attack on Israelis in history.
Israel responded by declaring war on Hamas and ordering a ‘complete siege’ of Gaza.
Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip, killing at least 2,778 people and injuring 9,700 more, according to Gaza’s health ministry as of October 17.
Hamas has called on Gazans not to leave their homes, accusing Israel of engaging in ‘psychological warfare’ by calling on Palestinians to evacuate to the south.
The situation in Gaza has ‘reached a dangerous new low,’ according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Israel has imposed a complete siege of the territory, cutting off electricity and water, and preventing the entry of food, fuel and medicine.
Without fuel, Gaza’s only power station has gone dark.
Israeli air strikes have destroyed neighborhoods, schools, and mosques, though the Israeli military has said that it is only targeting weapons storage centers and infrastructure used or occupied by Hamas militants.
Meanwhile, Gaza’s health system is ‘at a breaking point,’ says the World Health Organization (WHO), with hospitals forced to ration fuel reserves and medical supplies.