The Oct. 13 attack by Israel’s military kills a journalist and injure six others: Human Rights Watch says the incident was a deliberate attack
An Oct. 13 strike that killed a videographer for the Reuters news agency and injured six others in southern Lebanon was carried out by the Israeli military and appeared to be a deliberate attack, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.
The watchdog group said that evidence it had reviewed — including dozens of videos of the incident, photographs and satellite images, and interviews with witnesses and military experts — showed that the journalists were not near areas where fighting was taking place and that there was no military objective near their position.
Agence France-Presse photographer Christina Assi was severely wounded in the Oct. 13 attack and a journalist from Lebanon was killed. At least five others were also wounded.
The news teams were covering clashes along the border where Israel and the militia Hezbollah were trading fire. They were all wearing protective vests and helmets, the most obvious being the “press”, during the more than an hour that they reported from the same location.
After 45 minutes of filming the camera focused on an Israeli outpost and tank firing into Lebanon. The team was hit by the first tank rounds 90 seconds later. A second round 37 seconds later set a car on fire.
They would have been visible in the sky, as well as to Israeli forces on the other side of the border and an Israeli military helicopter.
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The report gave Mr. Abdallah’s mom some relief, though she wondered if it would result in accountability.
The Israeli military said after the attack that it was investigating the incident. It hasn’t released any findings yet. Military officials have said before that they don’t target journalists.
“The Israeli military knew or should have known that they were civilians yet attacked them anyway in two separate strikes 37 seconds apart,” Amnesty International said in a report released Thursday. A separate report released by Human Rights Watch echoed the findings by Amnesty, Reuters and AFP.
Abdallah was killed instantly while Assi, who can be heard in a video screaming as a camera continued to roll after the attack, had her leg severed and is still in hospital.
Human rights officials said the multiple sources of video and other images from the attack on Abdallah and the other journalists made it possible to carry out unusually detailed analysis. That is not usually the case with the other attacks.