Assaf Abu Rahal, a journalist working for the daily Al-Akhbar, was killed and Al-Manar TV reporter Ali Chouayb was wounded at around midday today when an Israeli tank fired into the village of Aadaisseh on Lebanon’s southern border (about 30 km east of the coastal town of Tyre).
According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, the Israel Defence Forces and the Lebanese armed forces exchanged shots after an Israeli unit uprooted a tree on the border in order to install a surveillance camera.
The two journalists, who were hit while trying to cover the incident from a Lebanese army roadblock, were clearly identified as media personnel. Rahal was killed on the spot. Three Lebanese soldiers and an Israeli officer were also reportedly killed in the course of the clash.
“We are shocked by Rahal’s death,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We condemn this Israeli military blunder and we offer our condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the staff of Al-Akhbar.”
The press freedom organisation added: “Rahal is the first Lebanese journalist to be killed in clashes between Lebanon and Israeli since the 33-day war in the summer of 2006, during which one journalist was killed and three others were wounded.”