A Palestinian reporter working for Al-Jazeera was shot and killed on Wednesday by Israeli forces as they were conducting a raid in the West Bank town of Jenin, an incident that takes place amidst rising tensions in the occupied territory as Israeli forces have carried out regular military operations in the past month in response to a series of deadly militant attacks.
Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known reporter, died after being hit in the head by a bullet, according to the Palestinian health ministry said on Facebook.
Another Palestinian journalist, working for the newspaper Al-Quds was also wounded during the raid but was in a stable condition.
According to the Associated Press, in video footage of the incident, Abu Akleh can be seen wearing a blue flak jacket with the word “PRESS” clearly visible.
In a statement issued on Twitter, the Israeli Defense Forces say they are investigating the possibility that the journalists were hit by Palestinian gunfire.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said his country has proposed a “joint pathological investigation” into the journalist’s death, adding that journalists “must be protected in conflict zones.”
“In a blatant murder, violating international laws and norms, the Israeli Occupation Forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Palestine,” the Qatari news network said in an official statement. “Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of the late colleague Sherine,” the statement added.
Israeli forces have carried out regular raids in the occupied West Bank region since early April following a series of deadly attacks inside Israel, carried out by Palestinians believed to be residing in or around Jenin. Last year, a high-rise building in Gaza, which housed the offices of the Associated Press, Al-Jazeera and other media outlets was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike. The strike was condemned by AP which said it “narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life” in the incident but Israeli forces insisted that the building was being used as a command center by Hamas.
Al-Jazeera reporter killed during Israeli raid in West Bank (Associated Press)
Al Jazeera Journalist Is Killed During Clashes in West Bank (New York Times)