Israeli forces kill Al Jazeera journalist

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Israeli Forces on Wednesday shot dead Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, while she was covering an Israeli raid on the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Akleh, a Palestinian and a Christian who grew up in Jerusalem, was with a group of journalists and was wearing a press vest when she was shot in the head.

Al Jazeera and witnesses, including her producer who was shot in the back, said she was killed by Israeli gunfire.

According to the journalists who were at the scene, there were no Palestinian fighters present when they were shot.

“We were going to film the Israeli army operation and suddenly they shot us without asking us to leave or stop filming,” said al-Samoudi, her producer, told Al Jazeera.

“The first bullet hit me and the second bullet hit Shireen … there was no Palestinian military resistance at all at the scene.”

The Palestinian presidency condemned the killing, saying in a statement that it holds the Israeli occupation responsible.

However, Israel said it was looking into the possibility that Akleh was shot by gunmen.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also backed the claim saying “armed Palestinians” were firing shots in an inaccurate and uncontrolled during the operation.

“Our forces from the IDF returned fire as accurately, carefully, and responsibly as possible. Sadly, Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in the exchange,” Bennett said.

Israel’s military chief, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, later said that it is unclear who shot Abu Akleh.

Al Jazeera Media Network has described Abu Akleh’s killing as a “blatant murder” and a “heinous crime”.

The network also accused Israeli forces of targeting the veteran journalist with live fire and assassinating her in “cold blood”.

On Thursday, thousands of Palestinians attended a state service for Akleh, which took place at the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) presidential compound in Ramallah.

 

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