Israeli forces have killed Al Jazeera’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank, according to witnesses and the Palestinian health ministry.
Abu Akleh, a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic was killed while covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank as Palestinians prepared to mark the anniversary of the Nakba. She was wearing a press vest and was standing with other journalists when she was killed. Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali al-Samoudi, was also wounded by a bullet in the back at the scene. He is now in stable condition.
Al-Samoudi and other journalists at the scene said there were no Palestinian fighters present when the journalists were shot, directly disputing an Israeli statement referencing the possibility that it was Palestinian fire. “We were going to film the Israeli army operation and suddenly they shot us without asking us to leave or stop filming,” said al-Samoudi.
“We hold the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for killing her, and they cannot hide the truth with this crime. And this crime should not go unpunished, and we point out that we have refused and rejected the joint investigation with the Israeli authorities because they are the ones who committed the crime,” said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a memorial ceremony.
Abu Akleh’s death could draw new scrutiny to Israel’s military justice system, which is being examined as part of a war crimes probe conducted by the International Criminal Court. It also threatened to further strain often-rocky relations between the army and the international media.