Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, one of the best-known journalists for the pan-Arab television channel Al-Jazeera, was killed Wednesday morning by Israeli army fire as she covered armed clashes in the occupied West Bank, according to witnesses, Palestinian officials and his employer.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health and the al-Jazeera broadcaster announced the death of this journalist by shooting the Israeli army during these clashes in Jenin, the stronghold of Palestinian armed factions in the north of the occupied West Bank. An AFP photographer on the scene also reported the shooting by the Israeli army and saw the body of the reporter wearing a bulletproof vest with the word “press” written on it.
Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian Christian in her fifties, had worked at “La Voix de la Palestine”, Radio Monte-Carlo, before joining the al-Jazeera station, where she became known in the Middle East for its reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Another journalist, Ali al-Samoudi, who was injured in these clashes, accused the Israeli army of opening fire on the journalists. “We were on our way to cover the army operation when they opened fire on us… One bullet hit me. The second bullet hit Shireen,” he told AFP of his release from the hospital.
In a statement, al-Jazeera said Shireen Abu Akleh was killed “in cold blood” by Israeli forces.
“Al-Jazeera condemns this heinous crime, which aims to prevent the media from doing their job,” the Qatari broadcaster said, calling on the international community to “hold the Israeli occupation forces responsible for the deliberate attack and killing of Shireen” , who was shot. “in the face” according to the Qatari authorities.
The Israeli military, for its part, said in a statement that it had conducted operations in the Jenin Palestinian camp and other parts of the West Bank in recent hours to arrest “people suspected of terrorism.”
“During these counter-terrorism activities in the Palestinian camp in Jenin, dozens of Palestinian gunmen opened fire and threw explosive objects at the Israeli armed forces, threatening their lives. The soldiers returned fire. People were injured,” the Israeli army said.
“The military is investigating these events and is considering the possibility that the journalists were hit by Palestinian gunmen,” the statement added. “The military does not target journalists,” a military official told AFP.
Israel has offered Palestinians a “joint pathological investigation” into the “sad death of journalist” Shireen Abu Akleh, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that the “Israeli government bears full responsibility.” before the journalist’s death.
The death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh comes nearly a year after the destruction of the Jalaa Tower, which housed the offices of the Qatari Canal in the Gaza Strip, in an Israeli airstrike in the midst of the war between the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. and the Jewish state.
This 11-day war left 260 dead on the Palestinian side, including many fighters and children, and 14 dead in Israel, including a soldier and two minors.
A year after the war in Gaza, tensions between the Jewish state and Hamas remain. On Wednesday, a Hamas official, Ghazi Hamad, accused Israeli forces of “deliberately killing” the al-Jazeera journalist, which the military denied.
Since March 22, Israel has been the target of a series of attacks that have killed at least 18 people. Two of his attacks were perpetrated by Israeli Arabs and four by Palestinians, including three youths from Jenin, where the Israeli army has been ramping up operations in recent weeks.
In the wake of these anti-Israel attacks, 30 Palestinians, including attackers, were killed in incidents involving the Israeli military. In this context, clashes between the Israeli police and Palestinians have left nearly 300 injured on the esplanade of the mosques, located in the Palestinian part of Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967.