Israeli forces fatally shot Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, the network and the Palestinian Health Ministry said Wednesday according to The Washington Post.
Al Jazeera said Israeli forces shot the 51-year-old veteran journalist in the head while she was covering the Israeli raids in the Jenin refugee camp.
The network said the Israeli army killed Abu Akleh “in cold blood” while she was “clearly wearing a press jacket that identifies her as a journalist.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that he “condemns the crime of the execution Shireen Abu Akleh” and holds Israel “fully responsible.”
Israel denies despite eyewitnesses:
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the shooting took place during a gunfire exchange and claimed “armed Palestinians shot in an inaccurate, indiscriminate and uncontrolled manner.”
“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,” he said. “To uncover the truth, there must be a real investigation, and the Palestinians are currently preventing that. Without a serious investigation, we will not reach the truth.”
But multiple eyewitnesses, including two journalists, disputed Israel’s claim, saying there was no crossfire.
“It was dead quiet,” journalist Ali al-Amudi said.
US calls for probe:
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said on Twitter he was “Very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.”
A spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Jerusalem said the US “encourages a swift, thorough, and transparent investigation into the circumstances of her death.”
“We understand the Israel Defense Forces have already stated that they will be investigating this incident. As we have said numerous times, the United States supports press freedoms and the protection of journalists in carrying out their work,” she said.