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Evidence Israel military may be deliberately targeting journalists, says campaign group

Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah was killed in an Israeli strike last October  (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah was killed in an Israeli strike last October (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

There is evidence the Israeli military could be deliberately targeting journalists working in the Middle East, a campaign group warned.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it had submitted two complaints to the International Criminal Court regarding suspected war crimes against journalists in the region since 7 October.

“There is growing evidence that, in some cases, the IDF may have deliberately targeted journalists,” RSF said in a letter addressed to prime minister Rishi Sunak.

The group claimed Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon on 13 October 2023, which killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six others, was unlawful and “apparently deliberate”.

It also cited the Israeli military acknowledging deliberately targeting a car in which journalists were travelling on 7 January this year, killing two journalists and seriously injuring a third.

Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah was killed in an Israeli strike which was ‘apparently deliberate’
Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah was killed in an Israeli strike which was ‘apparently deliberate’

“The targeted or indiscriminate killing of journalists, if committed deliberately or recklessly, is a war crime. The killing of so many journalists in so brief a period is shocking and horrific,” the group added.

RSF urged the British government to “pursue accountability” and use its influence over Israel to ensure journalists can document military operations in the region.

It urged Britain to call for journalists to be granted access to Gaza, as well as ensuring the proper delivery of equipment like helmets, flak jackets, phone chargers and sim cards for reporters.

“We urge you to act immediately and decisively to ensure that all the parties respect the rights of journalists to report on the conflict,” it said.

As of 6 February 2024, at least 85 journalists and media workers have been killed since Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October last year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Those killed include 78 Palestinians, four Israelis and three Lebanese. Four of those were killed by Hamas on 7 October, the CPJ said.

The Israeli military was approached for comment.