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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Press Freedom Groups Urge UNIFIL to Make Public Report on Israeli Attack on Journalists

Friday , 29 March 2024


António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations



Joanna Wronecka

The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.

Lieutenant General Aroldo Lázaro Sáenz

The Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.


Jean-Pierre Lacroix 

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations.


The undersigned,


The National Human Rights Commission - Lebanon,

International Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations,

Local Media Syndicates,


Dear Secretary-General António Guterres,

We, the undersigned victims, survivors and local and international human rights and civil society organizations, welcome the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) investigation into the October 13, 2023 Israeli attack on a group of journalists doing their job in south Lebanon, which killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah and wounded six other journalists from Reuters, Agence-France Presse (AFP), and Al-Jazeera.

Reuters staff, who saw a copy of the 7-page report dated 27 February 2024 summarizing the investigation, reported that UNIFIL found that an Israeli tank killed Abdallah by firing two 120 mm rounds at a group of “clearly identifiable journalists” in violation of international law. The investigators said that UNIFIL personnel did not record any exchange of fire across the border between Israel and Lebanon for more than 40 minutes before the Israeli Merkava tank opened fire.

The Reuters report suggests that the UNIFIL investigation corroborated the findings of investigations conducted by Reporters Without Borders, Reuters, AFP, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. It will be an essential tool in seeking truth, accountability and redress for the victims and survivors.

We therefore request that UNIFIL make its full investigation public in accordance with the UN’s commitment to transparency. Since the UN does make findings related to internal investigations public, there is no shortage of precedents. If UNIFIL is currently unable to make the full report public, we ask you to make a public statement explaining why and providing a timeline for when publication will occur. In such instances, a redacted or summarized version of the report should be released in the interim.

The publication of the investigation findings is necessary to support other justice and accountability efforts that the victims' families want to pursue.


Thank you.





  • Carmen Joukhadar (Reporter, Al-Jazeera - Injured)
  • Christina Assi (Videographer, Agence France Press - Critically Injured)
  • Dylan Collins (Videographer, Agence France Press - Injured)
  • Elie Brakhia (Videographer, Al-Jazeera - Critically Injured)

Local and Regional Syndicates and Journalists' groups

  • Alternative Press Syndicate - Lebanon
  • Syndicate of workers in Audiovisual in Lebanon

Local, Regional, and International Organizations

  • Amnesty International
  • Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
  • Euromed Rights
  • Human Rights Watch
  • MENA Rights Group
  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
  • The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy
  • Arab NGO Network for Development
  • Helem
  • Lebanese Center for Human Rights
  • Maharat Foundation
  • Media Association for Peace (MAP)
  • Samir Kassir Foundation
  • The Legal Agenda

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