Jerusalem -- An Al Jazeera journalist was killed and shot while covering an Israeli raid on Jenin, an occupied West Bank village. Both the broadcaster and the reporter who were injured in the incident are blaming Israeli forces. Israel claims that evidence suggests they were both hit by Palestinian gunfire.
Shireen Abu Akleh was a well-known Palestinian female journalist for the broadcaster’s Arabic language channel. She was shot and later died. Many news outlets reported that the U.S. Embassy was reporting that Akleh had dual U.S.-Palestinian citizenship and U.S. citizenship. Ambassador Thomas Nides described her as an "American-Palestinian journalist" in a tweet.
Nides demanded "a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding her death and injury to at least one other journalist in Jenin today."
Ali Samoudi was another Palestinian journalist who was shot in the back during that raid.
It is very sad to hear about the passing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist from America and Palestine. I urge an investigation into her death and that of at least one other journalist in Jenin.
Qatar-based network halted its broadcast to announce Akleh’s death. It called upon the international community to "condemn the Israeli occupation forces for deliberately targeting and murdering our colleague" in a statement posted on its channel.
Al Jazeera stated in a statement that "We promise to prosecute perpetrators legal, no matter what they try to cover their crime and bring them before justice."
Al Jazeera condemns Israel's killing of Shireen Abu Akleh https://t.co/w2kd1T4IbE
According to the Israeli military, its forces were attacked with explosives and heavy gunfire while in Jenin. They fired back. According to the military, it was "investigating" the incident and investigating the possibility that journalists were attacked by Palestinian gunmen. According to the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, there is a good chance that the journalist was killed by armed Palestinians. Israeli officials claimed that there was video showing Palestinian gunmen boasting they had killed a soldier but that no Israelis were injured in the incident. This indicates that they shot a journalist.
This morning, in Jenin, terrorists heard saying: "They've hit one, they've hit a soldier, he's laying on the ground"But no IDF soldier was injured in JeninPalestinian terrorists, firing indiscriminately, are likely to have hit Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla pic.twitter.com/nXNbVJrnkC
Israel claimed it had offered a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority and an autopsy. The Authority declined the offer.
The Palestinian Authority, which manages a portion of the occupied West Bank, and works with Israel in security matters, condemned the "shocking crime committed" by Israeli forces. Abu Akleh, 51 years old, was born in Jerusalem. Al Jazeera hired her in 1997 to cover the Palestinian territories. Abu Akleh is seen in video footage wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked "PRESS"
Samoudi was her producer and said that they were part of a group seven reporters who covered the raid on Wednesday morning. They were all wearing protective gear clearly identifying them as reporters. He also said that they passed Israeli troops to let them know they were there.
He claimed that the first shot hit them but missed, then another struck him and Abu Akleh was killed. He claimed that there were no militants, civilians, or soldiers in the area. Only the journalists and the army. He claimed that the military's claim that they were attacked by militants was "completely false." Shaza Hanaysheh was a journalist for a Palestinian news site and also one of the reporters. She gave a similar account in an interview to Al Jazeera's Arabic channel. She said that there were no clashes or shots in the immediate vicinity. Abu Akleh and she ran to a tree for shelter when the shots rang. "I reached the tree in time to shelter Shireen. Hanaysheh stated that she fell to the ground. "The soldiers continued firing at her even after she fell," Hanaysheh said. The soldiers opened fire every time I reached out my hand towards Shireen.
Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav, an Israeli commando, said that the journalists were carrying cameras and stood near Palestinian gunmen. He claimed that the militants were terrorists and unprofessionals who shot at our troops, but likely struck the journalists instead.
Imtiaz Tyab, CBS News' correspondent, knew Abu Akleh personally. They used to work together at Jerusalem. He described her as a kind, generous colleague who tried to help people who were seldom heard.
"I chose journalism because I wanted to be close to people. Although it might not be possible to change the reality, at least I could bring their voice to the rest of the world. I am ShireenAbu Akleh". This is Shireen. Now, her voice is muted pic.twitter.com/z0HCHgxJel
Tyab stated that Abu Akleh was, above all else. After she started her career as a journalist, she became a household name in the Arab world. This was at a time when few Arab women were reporting on the issues that affected their communities. He stated that she was a role model for many Arab women and will be missed by all of them, not just in the Arabic community but also across the Arab world.
Israel has been conducting near daily raids on the occupied West Bank over recent weeks. This is in addition to a string of deadly Israeli attacks, many of which were carried out by Palestinians living in and around Jenin. This town and its refugee camp have been long known as a stronghold for militants.
The 1967 Mideast war saw Israel capture the West Bank. The Palestinians want this territory to be the core of their future state. The territory is home to nearly 3 million Palestinians. It is under Israeli military control. Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers have full Israeli citizenship and Israel has constructed more than 130 settlements in the West Bank.
Although Israelis have been critical of Al Jazeera’s coverage for years, authorities allow its journalists to work freely. Givara Budeiri was also detained by Al Jazeera last year as she covered a demonstration in Jerusalem. She was treated for a fractured hand and her employer blamed rough treatment by the police. The relations between Israel forces and the media, particularly Palestinian journalists, are strained. Several Palestinian journalists have been injured by rubber-coated bullets and tear gas while covering protests in the West Bank. Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian journalist covering violent protests in Gaza in 2018. A week later, another journalist from Gaza was killed by Israeli forces while covering violent protests near the Gaza frontier in 2018. Rashid was wearing a protective gear clearly identifying him as a journalist and was standing alongside a group of journalists about 660 yards from the Israeli border at the time he was struck. The shooting was not acknowledged by the military. During the last year's conflict between Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers a Israeli airstrike struck Gaza City's building that housed offices of The Associated Press (AP) and Al Jazeera. Residents were advised to evacuate, and no one was injured in the strike. Israel claimed Hamas used the building as a command centre, but there is no evidence.