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Journalist dies in West Bank. Palestinians and Israelis hold each other accountable

Shireen Abu Akleh

A journalist from the Al-Jazeera television network died this Wednesday while covering an Israeli attack in the city of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian reporter for the Arab channel of Al-Jazeera, was shot in the head and died shortly afterwards, the ministry said.

Another reporter, from the Jerusalem daily Al-Quds, was also injured but is stable, he added.

The Ministry said that journalists were hit during an Israeli attack, with video footage showing that Abu Akleh was wearing a blue bullet-proof vest with the word “Press” written on it.

The Israeli army claimed to have fought back an intense attack during operations in Jenin. In addition, he explained that he was “investigating the event and analyzing the possibility that journalists were hit by Palestinian snipers”.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “Based on the information we have gathered, it seems likely that armed Palestinians, who opened fire indiscriminately, were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist,” Bennett said in a statement.

Over the past month, Israeli security forces have intensified attacks and “counter-terrorist operations” in the West Bank, particularly in the Jenin area, in response to a wave of attacks in Israel since late March, in which 18 people have died.

For its part, Al-Jazeera accused Israel of having “murdered in cold blood” the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

“In a tragic premeditated murder that violates international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces killed, in cold blood, our journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh,” said in a statement, the international network of Al-Jazeera, based in Doha.

Al-Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi was also “attacked when he was hit in the back during coverage and is now receiving treatment,” he added. The two journalists were identified as “press” on the vests they wore.

“We condemn this atrocious crime”, for which “we hold the Israeli Government and the occupation forces responsible”, accused the Qatari jail, in the statement.

Al-Jazeera called on the international community to “condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for deliberately attacking and killing colleague Shireen Abu Akleh”.

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