Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah killed on October 13 in southern Lebanon by a strike, and six other journalists, including two from AFP, were injured and killed. “Targeted,” says the organization Reporters Without Borders in an investigation published on Sunday.
Without categorically implicating the Israeli army, the organization also indicates that “according to the ballistic analysis carried out by RSF, the area from which the shots came is located to the east of where the group of journalists and their vehicles were targeted, where the border with Israel is located.
“Two strikes of different intensities, separated by 37 to 38 seconds, hit, on Friday October 13, around 6:00 p.m. the place where a group of seven journalists had been for more than an hour” stationed on a route to cover the rise in tension at the border.
Since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza on October 7, exchanges of fire between Lebanese Hezbollah and Israel as well as attempts infiltration of Palestinian militants based in Lebanon have multiplied.
“The first strike killed Reuters photojournalist Issam Abdallah and seriously injured AFP correspondent Christina Assi, while the second blew up the Al Jazeera vehicle in the immediate vicinity, injuring several of her colleagues” , writes RSF.
Wearing helmets and vests with the “Press” logo, “it is impossible that they were confused with fighters. They had been in the open for more than an hour high on a hill, therefore clearly visible” , says an RSF investigator in the video.
“The initial conclusions of the investigation establish that the reporters were not collateral victims of shooting,” according to the organization.
“The existence of two strikes on the same location in such a short space of time (a little over 30 seconds), coming from the same direction, clearly indicates precise targeting,” adds- she, considering it “unbelievable that the journalists were confused with fighters”.
According to two journalists present interviewed in the RSF video investigation, an Israeli Apache helicopter had flown over the area before the tragedy.
Lebanese authorities have accused Israel of being responsible for the strikes. The Israeli army, for its part, declared that it was carrying out checks and said it was “sorry”.
The AFP is carrying out its own investigation and has asked Israel and Lebanon for “a thorough investigation”.
The Reuters agency also called on Israeli authorities to carry out “a rapid, thorough and transparent investigation”.
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