In a tragic incident, Issam Abdallah, a Reuters videographer, was allegedly killed in Israeli shelling in southern Lebanon. His funeral, attended by hundreds of people, took place in his hometown, Khiam. The event was marked by a strong show of support, with dozens of journalists and Lebanese lawmakers in attendance.
Funeral and Mourning: Abdallah’s body, draped in a Lebanese flag, was carried on a stretcher through the streets of Khiam, from his family’s home to the local cemetery. The mourners paid their respects to the videographer, emphasizing the loss felt by both his family and the journalistic community.
The Tragic Incident: The incident occurred near the village of Alma al-Shaab in southern Lebanon during an exchange of fire between Israeli troops and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group. An Israeli shell allegedly struck a gathering of international journalists, resulting in Abdallah’s death. Reuters has demanded that Israel open an investigation into the incident.
Lebanon’s Response: The Lebanese army issued a statement confirming that Israeli troops fired a shell that hit a civilian car used by journalists, killing Abdallah and injuring others. The army also reported that other areas in south Lebanon were targeted by an Israeli helicopter gunship and artillery.
Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry has taken steps to file a complaint against Israel at the United Nations, describing the incident as a “flagrant violation and a crime against freedom of opinion and press.”
IDF’s Perspective: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that they responded with tank and artillery fire after a missile was launched from Lebanon by Hezbollah. They are currently reviewing the incident. An Israeli military spokesperson expressed condolences, calling the incident “tragic” and expressing sorrow for Abdallah’s death.
Wounded Journalists: In addition to Abdallah, several other journalists were wounded in the shelling. Reuters reported that two of its journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, were among the injured. Qatar’s Al-Jazeera TV also noted that its cameraman, Elie Brakhya, and reporter, Carmen Joukhadar, were wounded. France’s Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that two of its journalists, photographer Christina Assi and video journalist Dylan Collins, were wounded as well.
International Concern: The United Nations has expressed its hope for an investigation into the incident, emphasizing the need to protect journalists and allow them to carry out their essential work. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the risks faced by journalists reporting from conflict zones.
This article sheds light on the tragic incident involving Issam Abdallah and the subsequent responses from various parties, highlighting the need for investigations and the safety of journalists.