Israeli Forces Kill Al Jazeera Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in West Bank


Shireen Abu Akleh was hit in the head during her coverage of an Israeli incursion in Jenin in the West Bank. — AFP/Al Jazeera))

Shireen Abu Akleh was wearing press vest when Israeli snipers targeted her and other journalists, according to reports

Clarion India

OCCUPIED WEST BANK — Israeli forces have shot dead Al Jazeera’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank while she was covering Israeli raids in the city of Jenin.

Shireen Abu Akleh, who has been working with Al Jazeera since the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after she was made target of Israeli forces’ bullets and was declared brought dead at the hospital, Al Jazeera reports quoting the Palestinian health ministry.

Shireen Abu Akleh was wearing press vest when Israeli snipers targeted her and other journalists

The circumstances of her death were not clear, but videos of the incident show that Abu Akleh was shot in the head, said Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim.

“What we know for now is that the Palestinian Health Ministry has announced her death. Shireen Abu Akleh, was covering the events unfolding in Jenin, specifically an Israeli raid the city, which is north of the occupied West Bank, when she was hit by a bullet to the head,” Ibrahim said, speaking from the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali Samoudi, was also shot by a live bullet in the back, the health ministry said. Samoudi is reported to be in a stable condition, according to Al Jazeera.

The Israeli military alleged that it had come under attack with heavy gunfire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and that they fired back. However, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Ramallah, Walid al-Omary, refuted the allegation saying that there had been no shooting carried out by Palestinian gunmen.

It is to be noted that Al Jazeera’s offices in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Associated Press, were bombed by Israeli forces during an offensive a year ago.

Palestinian and international journalists say they have been regularly targeted by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, reports Al Jazeera.

Fatah, the party of the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, condemned Abu Akleh’s killing.

“Targeting Shireen is a clear targeting of the truth, and [Israel] wants to cover its crimes against the Palestinian people,” said Osama al-Qawasami, Fatah’s spokesman. “Israel wants to send a message to journalists around the world that the fate of whoever wants to cover the truth will be shot and killed.”

Al Jazeera’s managing director, Giles Trendle, said that the network was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Shireen Abu Akleh.

“We have had a history throughout the world but particularly in this region, where we have had tragedies,” he said, calling for a transparent investigation to the killing of Abu Akleh.

“As journalists, we carry on. Our mission is to carry on. We will not be silenced despite attempts to silence us,” said Trendle.

— With inputs from Al Jazeera

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