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Investigation finds ‘Israel’ killed Reuters reporter in Lebanon

A newly published report revealed that an Israeli tank crew killed a Reuters reporter in Lebanon last October. In further detail, the attack involved firing two shells at a clearly identified group of journalists, followed by a ‘likely’ use of a heavy machine gun in a 1-minute and 45-second assault.

The findings of a report commissioned by Reuters and conducted by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) also unmasked that a tank located 1.34 km away in “Israel” fired two 120 mm rounds at the group of reporters.

The initial shell killed 37-year-old Issam Abdallah and inflicted severe injuries on 28-year-old Christina Assi, a photographer for Agence France-Presse (AFP).

In December, a Reuters inquiry highlighted TNO’s initial discovery that a tank in “Israel” had targeted the journalists. The institute’s conclusive report on Thursday disclosed that audio captured by an Al Jazeera video camera at the scene indicated that the reporters were also subjected to gunfire from 0.50 caliber rounds, similar to those employed by Browning machine guns that can be mounted on “Israel’s” Merkava tanks.

“It is considered a likely scenario that a Merkava tank, after firing two tank rounds, also used its machine gun against the location of the journalists,” TNO’s report said.

“The latter cannot be concluded with certainty as the direction and exact distance of (the machine gun) fire could not be established,” it added.

Attacks on journalists are prohibited under international humanitarian law, as individuals in the news media are afforded the same comprehensive protection as civilians and cannot be deemed military targets.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the attack on a clearly identifiable group of journalists, working in the open. The attack killed our colleague Issam Abdallah and injured several others. We reiterate our calls on Israel to explain how this could have happened and to hold those responsible to account,” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said.

Phil Chetwynd, the Global News Director for AFP, reiterated the demand for a comprehensive and transparent investigation by the Israeli army.

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