Report Reveals Israeli Tank Fired Machine Gun at Journalists Following Deadly Shelling

According to a report by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), an Israeli tank crew is believed to have killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah in Lebanon in October. The report, commissioned by Reuters, disclosed that the tank, situated 1.34 km away in Israel, fired two 120 mm rounds at the clearly identified group of journalists, resulting in Abdallah’s death and severe injuries to Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer Christina Assi.

TNO’s investigation, published on Thursday, also revealed that audio captured by an Al Jazeera video camera indicated that the journalists were likely subjected to fire from 0.50 calibre rounds, consistent with the Browning machine guns mounted on Israel’s Merkava tanks. While the report suggested that the tank “likely” used its machine gun after firing the tank rounds, it couldn’t conclusively establish the direction and exact distance of the machine gun fire.

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not respond to inquiries about the incident. In a Reuters investigation last December, IDF asserted that they do not target journalists and placed the incident within an active combat zone. International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on journalists, considering them non-military targets entitled to civilian protection. Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni condemned the attack, calling for Israel to explain the circumstances and hold those responsible accountable.

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