While on assignment to cover the conflict between Hamas and Israel in southern Lebanon on Friday, a Reuters videographer lost his life and multiple other journalists were injured, according to his employer.
At the moment of his death, Issam Abdallah was shooting live footage close to Alma Al-Shaab, according to a statement released by Reuters.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that our videographer, Issam Abdallah, has been killed,” the company said in a statement.
“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, the wire service said.
The Daily Beast said that at approximately 5:30 p.m. local time, Reuters’ live feed was shut down after the journalists who captured the clip seemed to be hit by a rocket.
A woman cries, “What happened?” while a man can be heard screaming, “F–k! F–k!” in the unsettling video. and “My legs feel so cold! My legs felt so cold!
Photographs purportedly taken during the incident also display a flaming car and broken equipment on the ground.
قصف في محيط علما الشعب – جنوب لبنان pic.twitter.com/jtbeGSH1Jy
— Issam Abdallah – عصام العبدالله (@LbIssam) October 13, 2023
Al Jazeera reports that the group is thought to have been hit by an IDF shell.
Reporter Carmen Joukhadar of Al Jazeera and cameraman Elie Brakhya were also listed as injured, according to the publication.
Shortly after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) verified retaliatory artillery fire across the Israel-Lebanon border in response to gunfire from Lebanese territory, the purported strike took place.
“There was this direct shell that hit the team,” Al Jazeera’s Ali Hashem claimed on-air.
He claimed that at the time of the incident, the reporters from Reuters and Al Jazeera were riding in the same convoy and were easily recognized as members of the press thanks to their helmets and jackets.
Issam, who was often stationed in Beirut, posted a selfie of himself wearing tactical press gear and a short video of a bombing over Alma Al-Shaab just before he passed away. The video also included smoke billowing in the backdrop.
After that, the post was inundated with expressions of gratitude.
Online sympathizers likened Issam to the Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot and killed by an Israeli shooter in May 2022 while documenting a raid in the West Bank.
The head of Reuters’s bureau in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, Maya Gebeily, tweeted that Issam’s passing had left the crew “deeply saddened.”
CNN claimed that the IDF acknowledged on Friday night local time that it was using drones to bomb locations in Lebanon that were affiliated with Hezbollah.
Since Hamas’ unexpected attack on Israel last Saturday, tensions between Iran-backed Hezbollah and the terrorist organization based in the Gaza Strip have increased, raising concerns about potential future cooperation.