May 12, 2022
Jenin, Palestinian Territories—Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, a Palestinian-American who was among the network's most prominent figures, was shot dead Wednesday as she covered an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank.
The Qatar-based TV channel said Israeli forces shot Abu Aqleh, 51, deliberately and "in cold blood" while she was covering unrest in the Jenin refugee camp.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it was "likely" that Palestinian gunfire killed her.
The broadcaster added another Al Jazeera journalist, producer Ali al-Samudi, was wounded in the incident.
An AFP photographer said Abu Aqleh was wearing a press flak jacket when she was shot. The photographer reported that Israeli forces were firing in the area and then saw Abu Aqleh's body lying on the ground.
There were no Palestinian gunmen visible in the area when Abu Aqleh was killed, the AFP photographer added.
The Israeli army confirmed it had conducted an operation in the camp early Wednesday but firmly denied it had deliberately targeted a reporter.
The army said there was an exchange of fire between suspects and security forces and that it was "investigating the event and looking into the possibility that journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen".
"The (army) of course does not aim at journalists," a military official told AFP.
A statement from Al Jazeera said: "The Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera's correspondent in Palestine."
It called on the international community to hold the Israeli forces accountable for their "intentional targeting and killing" of the journalist.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Israel was seeking a "joint pathological investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh."
"Journalists must be protected in conflict zones, and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth," Lapid added.
Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh said there had been no contact from Israel about any joint probe and held Israel "responsible" for Abu Aqleh's killing.
In a sign of her prominence in the West Bank, residents laid flowers on the roadside as the vehicle carrying her body moved towards Nablus. An autopsy was scheduled before her burial in her native Jerusalem.
US ambassador to Israel Tomas Nides called for a "thorough investigation" into the killing of the US citizen. - AFP
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