20 years ago today the Israeli army killed my friend and BBC colleague Abed Takkoush in South Lebanon. They fired a tank shell into his car from their side of the border wire.They claimed we were terrorists. Abed left a wife and 3 teenage sons
I’d decided to stop to do a piece to camera. I got out of the car with cameraman Malek Kanaan. Abed stayed in the car on a phone call to his son. A minute or two later a Merkava tank crew about a kilometre away fired at the car.
It was the middle of a bright sunny day, with perfect visibility. They were close enough to see us clearly with the sophisticated optics in a Merkava tank. Yet they claimed we were terrorists.
Israel was pulling out of a long occupation of Lebanon because Hezbollah had made it too costly for them, by killing Israeli soldiers. They were on high alert but we were miles behind their retreating forces. We were journalists doing our jobs.
Abed should be celebrating the end of Ramadan with his family. They suffered a grievous loss. Israel has every right to defend itself. But we were no threat, civilians covering the story, moving openly in bright sunlight. It took many hours before Abed’s body could be recovered.