UN Security Council Condemns Murder of Shireen Abu Akleh | United Nations News

The Council also calls for an immediate and impartial investigation into the death of the Al Jazeera journalist who was gunned down earlier this week.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously condemned the murder of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank, according to diplomats.

The statement, a rare case of Security Council unity on an issue related to Israel, also called for “an immediate, thorough, transparent and impartial investigation” into her death.

The UN Human Rights Office has also called for a thorough and independent investigation into the murder, saying it could be a war crime.

According to diplomats who spoke to the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity, the negotiations in the Security Council were particularly difficult on Friday.

According to diplomatic sources and various versions of the statement obtained by AFP during the talks, China has successfully urged the United States to remove paragraphs condemning abuses against the media around the world, defending their freedom and urging their protection while reporting military operations.

The final text stated that “journalists as citizens should be protected”.

Abu Akleh, an internationally respected veteran journalist for Al Jazeera, was gunned down by Israeli forces while reporting an attack on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. She was wearing a helmet and vest that clearly identified her as a journalist.

The Security Council statement made no mention of violence at Abu Akleh’s funeral Friday.

Television footage shows porters struggling to keep Abu Akleh’s coffin from falling to the ground, as Israeli police officers charge at them with batons and grab Palestinian flags from mourners.

The attacks were condemned by Al Jazeera as “a scene that violates all norms and international laws”.

The Israeli military said the initial investigation into Abu Akleh’s death showed a heavy firefight was underway in Jenin, about 200 meters (about 220 yards) from where she was killed, but could not determine whether she was shot by Israeli troops or Palestinian fighters.

In a statement released Friday, the military said Palestinian gunmen recklessly fired hundreds of shots at an Israeli military vehicle, some toward where Abu Akleh was standing. It said Israeli forces returned fire and could not determine who was responsible for her death without ballistic analysis.

Reporters who were with Abu Akleh, including one who was shot and wounded, said there were no clashes or fighters in the immediate area when she was killed.

Al Jazeera has accused Israel of “blatant murder” and has called for an independent investigation into her death.

The UN experts noted that Abu Akleh’s assassination took place amid mounting violence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza in recent years.

According to the statement, last year was the highest number of Palestinian deaths from clashes with Israelis since 2014. It also fell amid a high number of attacks on Palestinian journalists.

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