Second journalist killed by Israel in Lebanon as media team comes under strike

Second journalist killed by Israel in Lebanon as media team comes under strike
The Israeli army killed a Lebanese media worker covering cross-border clashes, the Lebanese army has said.
3 min read
There have been daily border clashes between Israel and factions in southern Lebanon since October 7 [Getty]

A media worker in Lebanon covering cross-border tensions in the country's south was killed in Israeli fire, as war rages further south between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Earlier, local Lebanese media had reported that the group included Iranian media workers, although Iranian state TV said later that all its journalists were "alive and healthy" without providing further details.

It comes a week after the killing of Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah in Israeli strikes, as he reported from Lebanon's south.

"A journalist team of seven people covering news... near the Israeli enemy's Al-Abad site outside the town of Houla, was targeted with machine guns by enemy (Israeli) members, killing one and injuring another," the Lebanese army said in a statement.

Earlier, peacekeepers with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said in a statement that one person had been killed after civilians were caught in cross-border fire in Lebanon's south.

Lebanese armed forces asked them for help "for seven individuals stranded near" the border during "a significant exchange of fire", UNIFIL, said in its statement. A spokesperson confirmed they were all civilians.

"Tragically, one person lost his life during this incident and the others were successfully rescued," UNIFIL said. They asked the Israeli forces to suspend fire "to facilitate the rescue operation" and they complied, the statement added.

UNIFIL force acts as a buffer between Lebanese and Israeli troops.

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Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah and allied Palestinian factions have been trading cross-border fire with Israel daily since Hamas' massive attack in southern Israel on 7 October.

Israel says 1,400 were killed in that attack. In Gaza, more than 3,700 Palestinians, mainly women and children, have been killed in heavy Israeli bombardment.

The latest border incident brings to at least 22 the number of people killed in south Lebanon since the Israel-Hamas war began.

Most of them have been combatants, but at least four civilians, including a Reuters journalist, have been killed. At least three people have been killed in Israel.

A Lebanese security official told AFP that the victim had been killed by Israeli fire and that the group had included journalists. The official requested anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to the press.

Shakib Koteish, who heads the municipality of Houla, the village near which the group was stranded, told AFP a Lebanese civilian had been killed "definitely by Israeli fire".

Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA) had earlier said that Israeli forces had "cornered" a group of civilians, including journalists, "close to the town of Houla, and opened fire nearby... to keep them from leaving".

The civilians were "trapped by the gunfire", it added, before saying armed forces had managed to rescue them in a separate statement.

On Saturday, Lebanon said that Israel was behind cross-border fire that killed a Reuters journalist and wounded six others near the border, including AFP, Reuters and Al Jazeera staff, the day before.