Veteran Al Jazeera Journalist Killed in Firefight Between Israeli Soldiers and Palestinians

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A veteran Palestinian-American journalist was killed during a raid by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning, with Israel accusing Palestinian terrorists of shooting her down while Palestinians are blaming Israeli troops.

Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Aqleh, 51, was shot in the head while covering the raid, which was prompted by a spate of terror attacks against Israelis in recent days.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said Israeli troops fired the shot that killed Abu Aqleh, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he held Israel “fully responsible” for her death.  Israel said that Palestinian terrorists likely misfired and killed her.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded that Abbas was “making baseless accusations against Israel.”

Al Jazeera’s Moroccan journalist Abdel Samad Nasser broadcasts a report before an image of his network colleague Shireen Abu Aqleh at the Qatari news broadcaster’s headquarters in the capital Doha on May 11, 2022. Shireen Abu Aqleh, 51, was shot dead on May 11 as she covered an Israeli army raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty)

“According to the information we currently have, there’s a considerable chance that Palestinian gunmen who were firing recklessly caused the journalist’s saddening death.”

The U.S. ambassador to Israel confirmed Abu Akleh was an American citizen, and called for a “thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid offered the Palestinian Authority to conduct a joint autopsy to determine the cause of death, but Abbas’ government rejected the offer out of hand, according to Israeli reports.

Israel has said it will launch a full investigation into the death.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, troops entered a refugee camp in Jenin to arrest terror suspects.

Palestinians hold posters displaying veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh (Akleh), who was shot dead as she covered a raid on the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp on May 11, 2022, in the West Bank city of Hebron. (HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)

“During the operation in Jenin refugee camp, suspects fired an enormous amount of gunfire at troops and hurled explosive devices. [Israeli] forces fired back,” the army said in a statement.

The army said it was “looking into the possibility that journalists were injured, potentially by Palestinian gunfire.”

Footage from the scene shows Palestinian terrorists firing shots. At one stage, a Palestinian says an Israeli soldier was hit by gunfire but later Israel’s foreign ministry clarified no soldiers were injured.

“Palestinian terrorists, firing indiscriminately, are likely to have hit Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla,” the foreign ministry said.

Abu Akleh had been reporting for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera’s Arabic language channel since 1997, covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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