Israeli Tank Crew Kills Reuters Journalist and Wounds Reporters in Lebanon

Israeli Tank Crew Kills Reuters Journalist and Wounds Reporters in Lebanon

  1. Journalists Killed and Wounded:
  • Israeli tank crew killed a Reuters journalist and wounded six reporters in Lebanon on Oct. 13.
  • The two incidents occurred near the Lebanese village of Alma al-Chaab while the journalists were filming cross-border shelling.

Investigation Details:

  • Reuters spoke to more than 30 government and security officials, military experts, forensic investigators, lawyers, medics, and witnesses to piece together the detailed account of the incident.
  • The news agency reviewed hours of video footage from eight media outlets and obtained evidence from the scene, including shrapnel, flak jackets, and a large piece of metal.

TNO’s Key Findings:

  • The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) confirmed that the tank rounds were fired from within Israel and caused the casualties across the Lebanese border.
  • TNO’s analysis revealed that the tank round was fired at a distance of 1.34 km from the reporters.

Responses and Condemnations:

  • The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) denied targeting journalists, while Reuters Editor-in-Chief called for accountability and an explanation from Israel.
  • AFP and Al Jazeera also condemned the targeting of journalists and emphasized the importance of protecting journalists in conflict zones.

International Humanitarian Law:

  • International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on journalists and considers them civilians with full protection.
  • Legal experts and organizations have condemned the incident as a violation of international humanitarian law and a potential war crime.

Deadly Strikes in Lebanon:

  • The attack was part of a series of deadly strikes on reporters in Lebanon amid clashes between the Israeli military and Hezbollah militants.
  • The incident occurred in the context of ongoing hostilities between Israeli forces and Hezbollah near the border.

Post-Attack Developments:

  • Israel’s military said it was reviewing the incident, but no public findings were released.
  • The attack raised concerns about the treatment of journalists in conflict zones and the need for accountability.

TNO’s Critical Evidence:

  • TNO scientists relied on crucial evidence, including the tail fin from the tank round, unpublished video footage, and audio recordings from the live feed, to draw their conclusions.
  • Photographs and video taken after the attack provided further evidence to support TNO’s findings.

Identification of Tank Ammunition:

  • A tail fin related to the attack was identified as a tail fin assembly of a 120 mm tank ammunition round fired using a 120 mm smoothbore tank gun.
  • The armoured brigades deployed in northern Israel by the IDF use Merkava battle tanks equipped with 120 mm smoothbore guns.

Analysis of Hezbollah’s Tank Capabilities:

  • Hezbollah has no record of operating tanks with 120 mm weapons according to three military experts.
  • The Lebanese army also confirmed that its largest calibre tank round is 105 mm, and it did not have tanks stationed by the border with Israel.

Lebanon’s Response to the Attack:

  • Lebanon’s Minister of Information, Ziad Makary, accused Israel of deliberately targeting journalists and stated the government’s consideration of presenting a case about Israeli violations in an international tribunal.
  • The killing of journalists in Gaza and Lebanon was cited as evidence by Makary to support the allegation of deliberate targeting by Israel.

Investigation Findings and Tracer Element:

  • Laboratory analysis revealed tracer compounds in the tail fin, indicating the use of a pyrotechnic charge that burns during a projectile’s flight to show its path.
  • TNO identified the firing point of the rounds and determined that they were tank rounds fired from an Israeli military outpost near the U.N. Blue Line.

Expert Analysis and Conclusions:

  • The analysis by TNO concluded that the tank rounds that hit the journalists were two M329 Anti-Personnel/Anti-Material rounds, two M339 High-Explosive rounds, or a combination of both.
  • The shell fragments were identified as being from a 120 mm tank round manufactured by Haifa-based Elbit Systems.

Location and Safety Measures of Reporters:

  • The reporters chose the location for filming because it was in an open area with no cover to obscure them from nearby Israeli military outposts.
  • Reporters felt safe as they were clearly identified as journalists and in plain sight of the Israeli military, with no prior escalation or high-risk situation in the area.

Response and Examination of Reporting Practices:

  • Reuters and the reporters did not inform the armed actors in the area of their precise location and stated that it’s not standard practice to do so.
  • The group felt comfortable and safe in the area, not expecting to be targeted as they were sitting in an open area clearly identified as journalists.

Impact on Journalists and Concluding Statements:

  • An immediate aftermath was filmed by Al Araby showing the dazed reporters realizing the severity of the situation, with one journalist badly hurt and another killed.
  • The reporters expressed a sense of loss and determination to expose the truth behind the attack.
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Ingrid Mueller

Ingrid Mueller, a literary expert with a Ph.D. in Literature from Yale University, brings a touch of artistry to her writing. Her critical analyses and cultural insights provide a fresh perspective on trending news. Ingrid's articles are a treat for those seeking a deeper understanding of the world around them. Explore the trends through her unique lens.

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