© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The camera that belonged to Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah who was killed on October 13 by what a Reuters investigation has found was an Israeli tank crew, is displayed during a press conference by Amnesty International and Human Rights Wat
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -The Israeli military, responding on Friday to a Reuters investigation that determined its forces killed a Reuters journalist in southern Lebanon on Oct. 13, said the incident took place in an active combat zone and was under review.
Without directly addressing the death of Issam Abdallah, a military statement said that at the time Lebanese Hezbollah fighters had attacked across the border and Israeli forces opened fire to prevent a suspected armed infiltration.
“On Oct. 13, 2023, the terrorist organization Hezbollah launched an attack on multiple targets within Israeli territory along the Lebanese border,” said the statement issued by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
“One incident involved the firing of an anti-tank missile, which struck the border fence near the village Hanita. Following the launch of the anti-tank missile, concerns arose over the potential infiltration of terrorists into Israeli territory.
“In response, the IDF used artillery and tank fire to prevent the infiltration. The IDF is aware of the claim that journalists who were in the area were killed.
“The area is an active combat zone, where active fire takes place and being in this area is dangerous. The incident is currently under review,” the statement said.
The Reuters investigation found that an Israeli tank crew killed Abdallah, a visuals journalist, and wounded six reporters by firing two shells in quick succession from Israel while the journalists were filming cross-border shelling.
The two strikes killed 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.