The US and European Union condemned on Wednesday the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and demanded an independent investigation into the circumstances of her death.
The US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that Abu Akleh’s death must be “investigated transparently.”
“We're encouraging both sides to participate in that investigation so that we can get down to why this happened,” Thomas-Greenfield said, adding that the US’ “highest priority is protection of American citizens and the protection of journalists.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “We are heartbroken by and strongly condemn the killing of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank. The investigation must be immediate and thorough and those responsible must be held accountable. Her death is an affront to media freedom everywhere.”
The EU's External Action service said in a statement: “It is essential that a thorough, independent investigation clarifies all the circumstances of these incidents as soon as possible and that those responsible are brought to justice. It is unacceptable to target journalists while they perform their job. Journalists covering conflict situations must be ensured safety and protection at all times.”
The Al Jazeera reporter was shot dead while covering an Israeli raid on a Palestinian camp in the occupied West Bank.
Qatari Al Jazeera network accused Israel of “deliberately targeting and killing” their reporter.
Israel’s military said it was investigating and “looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by Palestinian gunmen.”