[News] Palestinian-American journalist killed in the West Bank in what Al-Jazeera called 'a blatant murder' by Israel


A Palestinian-American journalist for Al-Jazeera was killed in a shooting in the West Bank on Wednesday, the network said, as it accused Israel of targeting her.

Fifty-one-year-old Shireen Abu Akleh was covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin refugee camp, wearing a helmet and a vest marked with "Press," when she was shot in the neck, according to Al Jazeera's statement.

Al-Jazeera said that the death was a "blatant murder, violating international laws and norms" by Israel's forces.

It said that "the Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera's correspondent in Palestine, Shireen Abu Akleh, targeting her with live fire early this morning."

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbass, said he holds Israel responsible for her death, according to Haaretz.

Israeli authorities have challenged the accusation. In a statement seen by Haaretz, the Israeli military said it was looking into "the possibility that the reporters were hit by shots fired by Palestinian gunmen."

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: "There is a good chance that armed Palestinians, who fired widely, are the ones who led to the unfortunate death of the journalist," according to The Jerusalem Post.

As evidence for this assertion, the paper reported him as saying: "Palestinians were even documented saying 'we hit a soldier; he is lying on the ground.' No soldier was injured, which raises the possibility that they shot and hit a journalist."

This was based on a video shared on Twitter by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which purports to show the described Palestinians.

This would contradict the account of eyewitness and fellow Al Jazeera journalist Ali al-Samudi, who according to Al-Jazeera is recovering from injuries after having been shot in the back on Wednesday in the same incident.

Sky News reported al-Samudi as saying Israel's suggestions were "complete lie" because there were no Palestinian militants or civilians in the area at the time. The only people present were journalists and the military, Sky News reported him as saying.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called for a "joint pathological investigation." The Palestinian Authority has declined the offer, according to Sky News.

Tom Nides, the US ambassador to Israel, called for an immediate investigation on Twitter.

Ambassador Tom Nides (@USAmbIsrael) May 11, 2022

Abu Akleh was an accomplished and prominent reporter who had worked in broadcast news since 1997, The Guardian reported. The paper cited Tamara al-Rifai, the senior spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, as saying she was "a fixture of the Palestinian story."

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