Friends, relatives hold vigil for fallen Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Friends and relatives held a candlelit vigil in Beirut on Friday to mark one week since the killing of Reuters visuals journalist Issam Abdallah while filming an Israeli tank firing into Lebanon.

At a bar he co-owned in the Lebanese capital, loved ones held candles and portraits of Abdallah, who covered some of the biggest news stories of the past decade, ranging from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the conflict in Syria.

“You were everything to me,” Abdallah’s sister Abir said. “I will keep carrying this family, I swear. I’m happy that you’re in heaven.”

Abdallah was nominated as Reuters Video Journalist of the year in 2020 for outstanding coverage of the Beirut port blast.

Writing to Reuters editors after an assignment last year to Ukraine, Abdallah said: “I have learned through all the years of covering conflicts and wars with Reuters from around the region that the picture is not only front lines and smoke, but the untold human stories which touch us all inside.”

Lebanon’s army and government blamed Israel for Abdallah’s death. Israel’s military says it is reviewing the case. Reuters has called on Israel to conduct a “thorough, swift and transparent investigation”.

(Reporting by Reuters journalists; Editing by Edmund Blair)