West Bank - Israeli forces killed a Palestinian American journalist for the Al Jazeera news network in the West Bank early Wednesday, according to the network and the Palestinian Health Ministry, in the latest casualty of a months-long escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, a longtime Al Jazeera correspondent, was shot in the head while covering Israeli raids in the Jenin refugee camp, according to the network and the ministry. She was taken to a hospital before dying from her wounds.
Israel's army said it was involved in a clash at the camp and was investigating the possibility that “she was shot by a Palestinian gunman.”
In a statement, Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of killing Abu Akleh “in cold blood” and said she had been “clearly wearing a press jacket that identifies her as a journalist.”
A second journalist, Ali al-Samudi, working for the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper, was shot in the back and in stable condition, the Health Ministry said. Two other Palestinians were taken to a hospital in moderate condition, medics added.
"She was fearless, but she was also human.”— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 11, 2022
Shireen Abu Akleh’s colleague and close friend @DaliaHatuqa remembers the impact she had on the Arab world, and how she inspired a generation of women to become journalists.
Read more: https://t.co/OH8yck0B4v pic.twitter.com/rSGUxnN5mY
In its statement, the Israeli military said it was in the Jenin refugee camp carrying out “counter-terrorism activity” when “tens of armed Palestinian gunmen” fired and threw explosive devices at their forces, to which the soldiers responded with live fire. “Hits were identified.”
“The IDF is investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen,” the statement said, referring to the Israel Defense Forces.
IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav told Israel's Army Radio that “all of the data indicate with a high degree of probability” that Abu Akleh was killed by Palestinian fire. “But I say that cautiously,” he added.
A senior Israeli official, in a statement sent to reporters, said that the army's assessment was based on evidence that included video footage in which a gunman is heard saying in Arabic, “We hit a solider, he's on the ground.” The Israeli military said that no Israeli soldiers were injured during clashes in Jenin Wednesday and that the Palestinians in the video may have been referring to Abu Akleh.
The Washington Post