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Amnesty International said on Thursday that Israeli strikes that killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six others in south Lebanon on Oct. 13 were likely a direct attack on civilians that must be investigated as a war crime.
Human Rights Watch, in a separate statement, said the two Israeli strikes were “an apparently deliberate attack on civilians and thus a war crime”.
A Reuters investigation published on Thursday found an Israeli tank crew killed Abdallah and wounded the six other reporters by firing two shells in quick succession from Israel while the journalists were filming cross-border shelling from a distance.
The two strikes killed Reuters visuals journalist Issam Abdallah, 37, and severely wounded Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer Christina Assi, 28, just over a kilometre from the Israeli border near the Lebanese village of Alma al-Chaab.
Reuters said that they spoke to more than 30 government and security officials, military experts, forensic investigators, lawyers, medics and witnesses to piece together a detailed account of the incident. The news agency reviewed hours of video footage from eight media outlets in the area at the time and hundreds of photos from before and after the attack, including high-resolution satellite images.
As part of its investigation, the British agency also gathered and obtained evidence from the scene including shrapnel on the ground and embedded in a Reuters car, three flak jackets, a camera, tripod and a large piece of metal.