The Israeli military said Friday that the Reuters journalist killed by tank fire in Lebanon on Oct. 13 was in an active combat zone and the incident is still being reviewed.
The comment follows investigations by the news service and others that found Issam Abdullah, 37, a Reuters visual journalist, died after Israeli tanks fired two rounds at the spot where he was working with a half dozen other marked press in a border area.
A military statement said Lebanese Hezbollah fighters had attacked across the border from that area on the same day, and Israeli forces opened fire to prevent a suspected armed infiltration into Israeli territory, Reuters reported Israel said the Iranian-backed militants launched multiple anti-tank missiles on targets that day.
The investigation found that a group of a half dozen clearly identified journalists from several news organizations was on the spot for more than an hour, including livestreaming cross-border shelling for about 45 minutes from the site. The tank fire came only after cameras panned to a focus on an Israeli outpost and tank that was firing into Lebanon.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday it was important that Israel’s inquiry into the killing reach a conclusion and for the results to be seen, Blinken said at a press conference. “My understanding is that Israel has initiated such an investigation, and it will be important to see that investigation come to a conclusion, and to see the results of the investigation.”