‘Violation of int’l law’: UN officials call for probe into killing of Abu Akleh

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Senior officials from across the United Nations have called for an investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a renowned Palestinian-American journalist, on Wednesday, deeming it a “violation of international law.”

Veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by a gunshot to the head on Wednesday while reporting on an Israeli military operation in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin. Her producer and fellow journalist Ali al-Samoudi was also wounded by the Israeli army, but survived the incident.

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UNESCO head Audrey Azoulay condemned the journalist’s killing and said that Abu Akleh was shot “despite the fact that she was wearing a jacket with the word ‘press’ written on it.”

“The killing of a clearly identified press worker in a conflict area is a violation of international law. I call on all relevant authorities to investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice,” she added.

UN chief Antonio Guterres was appalled by Abu Akleh’s killing and called for the relevant authorities to conduct an independent and transparent investigation, a statement attributed to the Secretary-General said.

“The Secretary-General is appalled by the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter for Al Jazeera TV, who was shot dead earlier today while covering an operation by Israeli security forces in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank,” the statement read.

“The Secretary-General condemns all attacks and killings of journalists and stresses that journalists must never be the target of violence. Media workers should be able to carry out their work freely and without harassment, intimidation or the fear of being targeted. The Secretary-General reiterates his firm conviction that a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.”

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland and his deputy Lynn Hastings, who is the coordinator for the occupied Palestinian Territory, also called immediate for investigations into the matter.

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