Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah was killed and six others injured on Friday in southern Lebanon when Israel fired artillery into the area where they were gathered.
Reuters released a statement expressing their deep sadness over the loss of their videographer, Issam Abdallah, in the incident. They are actively seeking more information, collaborating with local authorities, and providing support to Issam’s family and colleagues.
Additionally, two other Reuters journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, were injured in the same incident.
This event stands as one of the most significant tragedies to emerge from Israel’s conflict with Hamas, affecting journalists from Reuters, the Agence France-Presse (AFP), and Al Jazeera. At the time of the attack, the journalists were clearly identifiable in press-labeled jackets.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) acknowledged their artillery fire into Lebanon, stating it was in response to an explosion near the security fence close to a kibbutz. A Lebanese security source reported the presence of an Israeli Apache helicopter over the site of the attack.
The IDF announced they were investigating the “incident with Reuters journalist” killed in southern Lebanon. However, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht expressed condolences for the tragic loss of life without explicitly confirming that it was an Israeli strike. He mentioned the existence of visual evidence, which they are currently reviewing.
The AFP also reported that two of their journalists, photographer Christina Assi and video journalist Dylan Collins, sustained injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment.
Phil Chetwynd, the AFP’s global news director, voiced deep concern over the incident and extended condolences to Reuters while expressing solidarity with their injured colleagues.
Al Jazeera confirmed that two of their journalists, Elie Brakhya and reporter Carmen Joukhadar, were among the wounded.
Prior to this tragic incident on Friday, at least ten journalists had lost their lives since the beginning of the war, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
CNN’s Tamara Qiblawi, Sarah El Sirgany, AnneClaire Stapleton, and Gianluca Mezzofiore contributed to this reporting.