Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, one of the stars of Al Jazeera, was shot dead on Wednesday while covering a raid by the Israeli army. Israel in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
The Qatari channel said the reporter, a 51-year-old Christian Palestinian, was killed “deliberately” and “in cold blood” by Israeli forces.
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On his side, the prime minister of that country, Naftali Bennett, claimed that he was “probably” killed by Palestinian gunfire.
Another Al Jazeera journalist, producer Ali Al Samudi, was injured in the same incident.
An AFP photographer at the scene confirmed that Abu Akleh was wearing a press vest when he was shot.
The photographer said that Israeli forces were shooting in the area and that he saw the body of the reporter from Al-Jazeera on the floor. There were no armed Palestinians in the area, he added.
The Israeli army confirmed that it carried out an operation on Wednesday morning in the refugee camp of Jenina stronghold of Palestinian armed groups in northern West Bank occupied, but denied shooting journalists.
The army assured that there was an exchange of shots between suspects and the security forcesand that it is “investigating the fact and looking at the possibility that the journalists were attacked by armed Palestinians.”
“(The army) of course does not attack journalists”an Israeli military official told AFP.
Al Jazeera called on the international community to hold Israel responsible for the “intentional” death of the journalist.
“In a flagrant murder that violates international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces murdered the Al Jazeera correspondent in cold blood” in the Palestinian territories,” the television said.
Qatari Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater said on Twitter that the correspondent was shot “in the face” and described the act as “Israeli state terrorism.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid assured that his country wanted to join an “investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.”
“Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we have a responsibility to get to the truth,” he added.
Nevertheless, a senior Palestinian official Hussein Al Sheikh noted that there was no contact by Israel to carry out a joint investigation.
at half day, Palestinians placed flowers along the road to the passage of the vehicle carrying the body of Abu Akleh in the northern West Bankconfirmed an AFP journalist.
The American ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, tweeted that he was “very saddened by the death of the American and Palestinian journalist. Shireen Abu Akleh” and called for “a full investigation into the circumstances of his death.”
The Israeli prime minister claimed that Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin camp were “probably” responsible for the reporter’s death.
“Based on the information we gathered, it seems likely that Palestinian gunmen, who indiscriminately opened fire at the time, are responsible for the journalist’s unfortunate death,” Bennett said in a statement.
The Al Jazeera producer who was injured, Samudi, said there were no armed Palestinians in the area when his partner was killed.
The death of Abu Akleh takes place almost a year after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the building in Gaza where the offices of the Qatari channel and the AP news agency were located, in the midst of the war against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.
Israel He said at the time that the tower housed offices of key members of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, territory under an Israeli blockade.
A Hamas official on Wednesday described the journalist’s death as “premeditated murder.”
Abu Akleh’s death also comes at a time of growing tension between Israelis and Palestinians.. Since March 22, Israel has been the target of a series of attacks that have killed at least 18 people.
Two of those attacks were carried out by Israeli Arabs and four of them by Palestinians, including three youths from Jenin, where the Israeli army has stepped up its operations in recent weeks.
Following these anti-Israeli attacks, 31 Palestinians, including the perpetrators and an 18-year-old boy near Ramallah on Wednesday, were killed by Israeli forces.
Thaer Khalil Al Yazuri died after being shot in the heart in the city of Al Birah, the ministry said in a short statement. Contacted by AFP, the Israeli army reported clashes between and Palestinians and soldiers who “fired rubber bullets”.