A journalist has died while covering clashes on the border between Israel and southern Lebanon, Reuters confirmed today.
Issam Abdallah was killed after an Israeli shell fell on a gathering of international journalists, injuring six others.
The bombing occurred during an exchange of fire along the Lebanese-Israeli border between Israeli troops and members of Hezbollah.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that our videographer, Issam Abdallah, was killed,” a Reuters statement read.
“Issam was part of a Reuters team in southern Lebanon providing a live signal. We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region and supporting Issam’s family and colleagues.
“Reuters journalists Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh were also injured and are seeking medical treatment. Our thoughts are with their families at this terrible time.
Harrowing footage showed an unnamed journalist injured by the blast as vehicles burned nearby.
Earlier today, the BBC reported that journalists covering the conflict had been “attacked and held at gunpoint after being arrested by police in Tel Aviv.”
Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah holds a kitten as he poses for a photo in Saaideh, Lebanon, July 4, 2023.
Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah takes a selfie photo while working in Maras, Turkey, February 11, 2023.
A group of journalists from different media outlets were near Alma al-Shaab, near the border with Israel, when they were caught in cross-border shelling, one of the two injured AFP correspondents said.
A Lebanese security source told AFP that the first Israeli bombings followed an attempt to infiltrate a Palestinian faction on the Lebanese side of the border.
AFP photographer Christina Assi was with fellow AFP video journalist Dylan Collins working in the area. Both were taken to Tire Hospital for treatment.
Al-Jazeera television confirmed earlier today that two of its employees, Elie Brakhya and journalist Carmen Joukhadar, were also among the injured.
Colleagues today paid their tributes to Mr Abdallah, following the tragic news from Lebanon.
Nadine Awadalla, Breaking News Hub editor for the Middle East and North Africa at Reuters, wrote on work.
“He was always all in, he put all his heart into his work. Saying rest in peace seems hollow, but I hope he rests in peace and power.
Rula El Halabi wrote on X: “I met Issam after the #BeirutBlast and we have since become good friends.
“He was such a (gentle) and responsible videographer who took care of everyone around him. Rest in peace my friend.’
White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton told reporters on Friday that the president’s thoughts were with Mr. Abdullah’s family.
“We know the work you all do is incredibly dangerous and today reminds us of that,” Dalton said.
Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah poses for a photo in Beirut, Lebanon, September 24, 2020
A journalist’s car burns after being hit by Israeli shelling in the border village of Alma al-Shaab, Friday, October 13, 2023. An Israeli shell fell on a gathering of international journalists covering the border clashes in southern Lebanon, killing one and wounding six others
At least six journalists have been killed in clashes in the region since Saturday.
Saeed al-Taweel, Mohammed Subh and Hisham Alnwajha were killed in an airstrike on Tuesday.
Ibrahim Mohammad Lafi and Mohammad Jarghoun were reportedly shot dead on Saturday while reporting.
Earlier today, the BBC described how two journalists and their Arab BBC team were “arrested and assaulted” by Israeli police in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Thursday evening.
Muhannad Tutunji, Haitham Abudiab and their team were allegedly “torn from the vehicle – marked “TV” on a red ribbon – searched and pushed against a wall”.
The journalists said they identified themselves and showed their press ID cards, the BBC reported.
As he attempted to film the incident, Mr Tutunji said his phone was thrown to the ground and he was “hit on the neck”.
A BBC spokesperson said the vehicle was clearly marked as a media vehicle.
“Journalists must be able to freely cover the conflict between Israel and Gaza,” they said.