Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has stated that it is improbable that Issam Abdallah and the six other journalists were mistaken for combatants.
According to RSF, the Reuters journalist, Issam Abdallah, was intentionally targeted, resulting in his death near the Israel-Lebanon border. Abdallah was covering the conflict between Israel’s military and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah in southern Lebanon on October 13.
Additionally, six other journalists, including Elie Brakhia and Carmen Joukhadar from Al Jazeera, were injured in the attacks. RSF’s preliminary investigation, based on video footage and ballistic analysis, indicates that two strikes occurred within a short time frame in the same location, suggesting deliberate targeting.
The journalists were in an exposed position for over an hour, wearing marked press gear, and their vehicle was clearly identified as “press.”
While RSF did not directly attribute responsibility, they noted that Israeli military helicopters were observed near the scene, and the strikes came from the direction of the Israeli border.
The Al Jazeera Media Network accused Israel’s military of intentionally targeting the journalists to suppress the media, condemning the attacks as part of a pattern of violence against journalists. The Israeli army has not immediately responded to these allegations.
In a separate incident, the wife, son, daughter, and grandson of Wael Dahdouh, Al Jazeera Arabic’s bureau chief in Gaza, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. Al Jazeera Media Network expressed condemnation for the indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians in Gaza, which led to the loss of Wael Al-Dahdouh’s family and numerous others.
Earlier this year, Israeli officials apologized for the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh after acknowledging the likelihood that she was struck by an Israeli soldier’s bullet. However, no charges have been pursued against any individual regarding the veteran Palestinian-American reporter’s death.
According to the health ministry in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip, at least 34 Palestinian journalists have been killed in Israeli air attacks since Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel.
Additionally, the International Federation of Journalists reported that at least four Israeli journalists were killed, and one retired journalist was captured in Hamas’s surprise attack on communities in southern Israel.