Sunday, December 3, 2023

Two journalists killed by Israeli strike in Lebanon, broadcaster says

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Those covering war appear to be being ‘systematically eliminated’

A terrible realisation hit us when the news dropped about more Lebanese journalists killed on the southern border with Israel this morning.

We had met and talked to them as we were filming and gathering evidence about allegations that journalists and civilians are being deliberately targeted.

Reporter Farah Omar, who worked for Al Mayadeen TV and has appeared in the channel’s promotional videos about covering the war, waited politely until we’d finished doing our filming.

We were interviewing journalist Samir Ayoub, who’s still mourning the death of four of his family in an Israeli strike on the car they were travelling in. Then she approached me and we chatted.

She and her crew, like us, were clearly marked as media with flak jackets on and press badges stuck on the armour, front and back.

Journalism is a very dangerous job here and increasingly becoming riskier.

Those covering this war – in Gaza and in Lebanon – appear to be in the midst of being systematically eliminated.

As of 21 November, 53 journalists and media workers are confirmed to have died in Gaza: 46 Palestinians, four Israelis, and three Lebanese nationals, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In Lebanon, there has been a string of attacks on groups of journalists over the past few weeks.

With Farah and her cameraman Rabih Maamari, plus the killing of Reuters cameraman Issam Abdallah a few weeks ago, the number of journalists killed in Lebanon has risen to three.

But those numbers don’t take into account the terrible injuries suffered by those who’ve survived, who are still recovering from their wounds, some life-changing – as well as coping with the emotional scars that may never heal.

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