Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh shot dead while covering Israeli military operation in West Bank
Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot while covering an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday.
The Palestinian health ministry said she was shot in the head by a live bullet, and confirmed her death shortly afterwards. Akleh’s producer, Ali Al-Samudi, was also shot and is in a stable condition, the ministry said.The circumstances surrounding her death are unclear.
Al Jazeera has accused Israeli security forces of deliberately targeting and killing Abu Akleh and called on the international community to condemn and hold Israel accountable.
Al-Samudi said later Wednesday that there were no Palestinian gunmen in the area at the time. “The Israeli army shot us,” said Al-Samudi. “There was no Palestinian gunman in the place.
“The Israel Defense Forces said its security forces had been operating in the area “to arrest suspects in terrorist activities,” and both Palestinian suspects and Israeli forces were firing at the time.
“As part of the activity in the Jenin refugee camp, suspects fired heavily at the force and threw explosives. The force responded by firing. Hits were detected,” the IDF said. “The possibility that journalists were hit, possibly by Palestinian gunfire, is being investigated. The event is being examined.”
Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed in the West Bank Wednesday, the network said. Bureau chief Waleed Al Omari wept on air as he announced the news.
The Israeli military has stepped up its operations in the West Bank after a series of attacks targeting Israelis has left 18 people dead. Several of the attackers were from the Jenin area.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement it “appears likely” armed Palestinians were responsible for Abu Akleh’s death.
“According to the information we’ve gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were indiscriminately firing at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist,” the prime minister said in a statement Wednesday.
The prime minister’s office released a video showing people running in the Jenin refugee camp, shouting about a soldier being hit. CNN has not been able to independently verify that the video is connected to Abu Akleh’s death.
“No IDF soldier was injured, which increases the possibility that Palestinian terrorists were the ones who shot the journalist,” Bennett said.
Abu Akleh was wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest, with “press” clearly written on it, when she was shot.
.”Tributes started pouring in for Abu Akleh as news of her death spread.
Abu Akleh’s colleague, Nida Ibrahim, said she was a “very well-respected journalist” who had been working with Al Jazeera since the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, according to the network.
“As you can imagine, this is a shock to the journalists who have been working with her,” Ibrahim said, in tears.
Abu Akleh was born and raised in Jerusalem and belonged to a Christian family, according to Bir Zeit University, where she was a teacher. She was 51, according to the university.
“She initially studied architecture at the University of Science and Technology in Jordan, then moved to the written journalism specialization, and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Yarmouk University in Jordan,” according to her university bio.
She had worked with UNRWA, Voice of Palestine Radio, Amman Satellite Channel, the Miftah Foundation and Monte Carlo Radio before joining Al Jazeera.