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Palestinian Israeli conflict

Killing of Palestinian-American reporter Abu Akleh sparks global condemnation, furor

Published: Updated:

Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by gunfire from the Israeli army while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin, the Palestinian health ministry reported on Wednesday.

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Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian-American female journalist, was killed early Wednesday and has since sparked global furor, condemnation, and condolences.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera Media Network released a statement on Wednesday in which it condemned the “blatant murder” of the reporter, stating that it violated “international laws and norms.”

A picture of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli army gunfire during an Israeli raid, according to the Qatar-based news channel, is displayed in Al-Jazeera headquarter building in Doha, Qatar, May 11, 2022.  (Reuters)
A picture of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli army gunfire during an Israeli raid, according to the Qatar-based news channel, is displayed in Al-Jazeera headquarter building in Doha, Qatar, May 11, 2022. (Reuters)

“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 Shireen. It also calls on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their intentional targeting and killing of Shireen,” the media network said.

“The Israeli authorities are also responsible for the targeting of Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi, who was also shot in the back while covering the same event, and he is currently undergoing treatment.”

“Al Jazeera extends its sincere condolences to the family of Shireen in Palestine, and to her extended family around the world, and we pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice,” the statement concluded.

Reporters Without Borders

Secretary General and Director General of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire condemned the killing of Abu Akleh in a series of tweets.

“The killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqlah constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Convetions that mandate the protection of civilians, and of the UN Security Council resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists,” said Deloire.

“RSF is disappointed by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s proposal that his country take part in a joint investigation into the circumstances of the journalist’s death: an independent international investigation must be launched.”

International Federation of Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned the veteran journalist’s killing and pledged to submit a case to the International criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the “systemic” targeting of Palestinian reporters in a statement.

“The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemned this latest targeted killing of a Palestinian media worker and has pledged to add the murder to the case lodged at the International Criminal Court (ICC) which details the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists.”

“Abu Akleh was one of Al Jazeera's first field correspondents, joining the network in 1997. She was hit by a bullet while covering Israeli raids in the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank,” the statement read, adding that the Israeli army attributed her killing to fire from Palestinian forces during a clash with Israeli soldiers but that Al Jazeera’s Ramallah bureau chief Walid al-Omary said “there had been no shooting by Palestinian gunmen.”

Mourners, including journalists, carry the body and flak jacket of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli army gunfire during an Israeli raid, according to the Qatar-based news channel, in Jenin, on May 11. (Reuters)
Mourners, including journalists, carry the body and flak jacket of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli army gunfire during an Israeli raid, according to the Qatar-based news channel, in Jenin, on May 11. (Reuters)

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “While the full details of this horrific murder are still emerging, testimony from journalists who were with her when she was killed point towards this being another deliberate and systematic targeting of a journalist. Yet again journalists, wearing press vests, clearly identified were targeted by Israeli snipers. They were not alongside demonstrators, they were not a threat - they have been targeted to prevent them bearing witness and telling the truth about the Israeli action in Jenin.”

“We will seek to add this case to the ICC complaint submitted by the IFJ, detailing such systematic targeting. If we demand justice for the Russian targeting of Ukrainian journalists we must demand an end to, and justice for, Israeli targeting and killings of Palestinian journalists.”

Palestine Journalists Syndicate

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) condemned the killing and said it was “deliberate and planned.”

“There are a few testimonies from the journalists who were with her when she was killed, saying that they were moving as a group, all wearing journalists’ gear and clearly identified when they were shot at by Israeli snipers, they were the only group in the street. There were no demonstrators or exchange of fire,” the PJS said in a statement on Wednesday.

US Ambassador to Israel

The US Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, took Twitter to express his sadness over the Abu Akleh’s death.

“Very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh of Al Jazeera and Al Jazeera English. I encourage a thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death and the injury of at least one other journalist today in Jenin.”

EU in Palestine

The European Union’s delegation to Palestine said it was “shocked” by the killing of Abu Akleh.

“Shocked by the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla who was reporting on ISF incursions in Jenin. We express our deepest condolences to her family and call for a swift and independent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Arab League

The Arab League in a statement condemned the incident “in the strongest terms,” adding that the “heinous crime committed by the Israeli occupation army this morning” was “within the scope of the continuous aggression and continuous targeting of Jenin Governorate.”

The organization also stated that this attack “aims to bury the voice of truth” and “freedom,” calling for international accountability and prosecution of the “perpetrators” involved before “competent international justice bodies.”

“We extend our deepest condolences to her family, to the family of the Palestinian and Arab press, to Al Jazeera… and to all the Palestinian people.”

Read more: Reporter Shireen Abu Akleh dies after being shot by Israeli army: Ministry

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