Al Jazeera journalist shot and killed while reporting in the West Bank
A reporter for Al Jazeera was killed by gunfire on Wednesday during a clash between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen.
Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was reporting on a raid by Israeli forces in the city of Jenin when she was killed. The Qatar-based media outlet said that the lethal shot was fired by the Israeli army, but the Israeli military claims the veteran journalist may have been shot by the Palestinian side.
A Palestinian official said Akleh had been “assassinated” by Israeli troops, according to Reuters.
An Agence France-Presse photographer also reported that Akleh had been shot by Israeli forces.
The Israeli Defense Forces put out a tweet on Wednesday saying it was investigating the events that occurred during the raid and “the possibility that journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen.”
“In the last few hours, IDF and Israeli security forces conducted counterterrorism activity to apprehend terrorist suspects in the Jenin Refugee Camp,” the IDF said.
“During the activity, tens of Palestinian gunmen fired at and hurled explosive devices toward the soldiers. The soldiers responded with fire toward the gunmen and hits were identified. The IDF is investigating the event and looking into the possibility that journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen,” the IDF concluded.
AT LEAST THREE KILLED AND FOUR INJURED IN SUSPECTED TERROR ATTACK IN ISRAEL
The Palestinian health ministry has confirmed Akleh’s death and said that a second reporter, Ali Samodi, was injured in the firefight.
Graphic videos shared on social media purportedly show Akleh mortally wounded in Jenin and being carried into a vehicle. She appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest identifying her as a member of the press.
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Al Jazeera said Akleh was shot in the head by a bullet from Israeli forces while on assignment in Jenin. The network said she was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, where she was pronounced dead. An Al Jazeera colleague of Akleh, Nida Ibrahim, described the journalist as “very well respected” and said that Akleh had been working for Al Jazeera since 2000.
Israel has been dealing with a recent wave of terror attacks that the military says are originating from Jenin. At least 18 people have been killed in Israel by acts of terror since mid-March.