Al Jazeera journalist shot dead in Israel’s West Bank raid

Tunisian journalists protest the death of veteran Al Jazeera Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, in Tunis on May 11, 2022

Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a respected veteran of the Al Jazeera network, was shot dead Wednesday as she reported on an Israeli army attack on the occupied West Bank.

The Qatar-based TV station accused Israeli forces deliberately and “cold blood” shooting Abu Akleh, 51, in the head during the unrest in the Jenin refugee camp.

Another Al Jazeera journalist, producer Ali al-Samudi, was injured in the incident in which both were wearing helmets and vests marked “Press”. He later said there were no Palestinian fighters nearby, stressing that “otherwise we would not have entered the area”.

The Israeli army confirmed it had conducted its latest in a series of military operations in the flashpoint camp, but strongly denied that it had deliberately attacked a reporter.

As a sign of her fame in the West Bank, residents laid flowers along the road as the vehicle drove with her body to Nablus, where an autopsy would be performed before her burial in her native Jerusalem.

Al Jazeera said in a statement that “Israeli occupation forces have murdered Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Palestine in cold blood”.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the country was seeking a “joint pathological investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh”.

Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh said there had been no contact from Israel over a joint investigation and held Israel “responsible” for Abu Akleh’s assassination.

The Israeli military released a video early Wednesday showing Palestinian gunfire in Jenin’s camp, but not at the exact spot where Abu Akleh was killed.

In recent weeks, the Israeli military has stepped up operations in Jenin, a historic focal point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Witnesses in Jenin said on Wednesday that the army attacked the home of a Muslim agent, blowing the heavy metal door of an apartment off its hinges.

Her death came nearly a year after an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Gaza that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and the AP news agency.

Tensions have mounted in recent months as Israel faces a spate of attacks that have killed at least 18 people since March 22, including an Arab-Israeli police officer and two Ukrainians.

The latest Palestinian to die was an 18-year-old who was killed by Israeli forces on Wednesday during clashes near Ramallah. The army said its troops had used rubber bullets to quell the unrest.

bur/bs/fz

Originally published as Al Jazeera journalist shot dead during West Bank raid on Israel

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