'Blatant murder' - Al Jazeera blames Israeli forces for death of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh

accreditation


  • Al Jazeera labelled the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh as a murder.
  • She was shot in Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
  • Israeli officials said the military did not target journalists.

Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh was shot dead on Wednesday as she covered an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Qatar-based TV channel said Israeli forces shot Abu Aqleh, 51, deliberately and "in cold blood" while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it was "likely" that Palestinian gunfire killed her.

READ | Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh killed by Israeli forces in West Bank

Abu Aqleh, a Palestinian Christian, was a prominent figure in the channel's Arabic news service.

Another Al Jazeera journalist, producer Ali al-Samudi, was wounded in the incident, the broadcaster added.

An AFP photographer at the scene said Abu Aqleh was wearing a press flak jacket when she was shot. The photographer reported that Israeli forces were firing in the area and then saw Abu Aqleh's body lying on the ground.

Denial

The Israeli army confirmed it had conducted an operation in Jenin refugee camp early on Wednesday but firmly denied it had deliberately targeted a reporter.

The army said there was an exchange of fire between suspects and security forces and that it was "investigating the event and looking into the possibility that journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen".


"The (army) of course does not aim at journalists," a military official told AFP.

A statement from Al Jazeera said: 

In a blatant murder, violating international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera's correspondent in Palestine.


It called on the international community to hold the Israeli forces accountable for their "intentional targeting and killing" of the journalist.

Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Israel was seeking a "joint pathological investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh".

"Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth," Lapid added.

The Israeli prime minister said Palestinian gunmen in the camp were likely responsible for Abu Aqleh's death.

Bennett said in a statement:

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 wounded Al Jazeera producer, Samudi, said there were no Palestinian fighters in the area where Abu Aqleh was shot.

"If there were resistance fighters, we would not have gone into the area," he said in testimony posted online, stating that the Israelis "fired toward us".

In recent weeks, the army has stepped up operations in Jenin, a historic flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Several of the assailants blamed for deadly attacks on Israelis in recent weeks were from the area.

The army said that during its operation in the camp, "massive fire was shot toward Israeli forces by tens of armed Palestinian gunmen".


People in the camp "also hurled explosive devices toward the soldiers, endangering their lives. The soldiers responded with fire toward the sources of the fire and explosive devices. Hits were identified."

The fatal shooting comes nearly a year after an Israeli air strike destroyed a Gaza building that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and news agency AP.

Israel has said the building also hosted offices for key members of the Hamas Islamist group, which controls the Israeli-blockaded Gaza strip.

The Palestinian Authority called Abu Aqleh's killing an "execution" and part of an Israeli effort to obscure the "truth" about its occupation of the West Bank.

Hamas called the incident "a premeditated murder".


Qatar's assistant foreign minister Lolwah Al Khater said Israeli troops had killed Abu Aqleh "by shooting her in the face" in what she called an act of "state sponsored Israeli terrorism".

Tensions have risen in recent months as Israel has grappled with a wave of attacks which has killed at least 18 people since 22 March, including an Arab-Israeli police officer and two Ukrainians.

A total of 30 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs have died during the same period, according to an AFP tally, among them perpetrators of attacks and those killed by Israeli security forces in West Bank operations.



Did you know you can listen to articles? Subscribe to News24 for access to this exciting feature and more.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 400 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 4841 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 667 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.07
-0.6%
Rand - Pound
20.16
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.68
+0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.58
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.1%
Gold
1,661.25
+0.0%
Silver
19.03
0.0%
Palladium
2,166.50
0.0%
Platinum
864.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,390
+0.8%
All Share
63,726
+0.7%
Resource 10
60,230
+0.7%
Industrial 25
77,400
+0.8%
Financial 15
13,796
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE