A journalist for Al Jazeera was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday. The broadcaster and a reporter who was wounded in the incident blamed Israeli forces, while Israel said there was evidence the two were hit by Palestinian gunfire.
Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian female reporter for the broadcaster’s Arabic language channel who is also a US citizen, was shot and died soon afterwards. Ali Samoudi, another Palestinian journalist, was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the back. The Qatar-based network interrupted its broadcast to announce her death. In a statement flashed on its channel, it called on the international community to “condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for deliberately targeting and killing our colleague.” “We pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice,” Al Jazeera said in a statement.
The Israeli military said its forces came under attack with heavy gunfire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and that they fired back. The military said it is “investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen.” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that based on the information they had already gathered, “there is a considerable chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, were the ones who brought about the journalist’s unfortunate death.”