In a tragic incident on October 13, an Israeli strike near the Lebanese-Israeli border resulted in the death of Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and serious injuries to six other journalists, including AFP photographer Christina Assi, who later had a leg amputated.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have called for a “war crime” investigation into the Israeli strike, asserting that it was likely a direct attack on civilians. Both organizations emphasized the need for accountability, stating that those responsible for the journalist’s death and injuries must be held accountable.
Independent investigations by these rights groups, along with an AFP investigation, suggest that the initial strike was probably a tank round fired from Israel. Under international humanitarian law, the deliberate targeting of civilians, especially journalists, is considered a war crime.
Amnesty pointed out that the journalists were wearing body armor labeled ‘press,’ and the Reuters crew car was marked ‘TV,’ indicating their clear identification as members of the media. HRW described the attacks as apparent deliberate actions against civilians, violating international law.
Dylan Collins, another AFP journalist injured in the attack, expressed hope that the investigations would initiate a process of justice and accountability. Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati pledged to include the investigation’s conclusions in the complaint filed before the UN Security Council.
Since the beginning of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza on October 7, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 63 journalists and media workers have been killed, underlining the urgent need for an immediate, independent, and transparent investigation into the strike on journalists in Lebanon.