Jerusalem [Israel]: An Al Jazeera journalist was tragically gunned down on Wednesday while she was on assignment in the West Bank in Jenin, media reported.
While the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed, another journalist Ali Al Samudi who was present with Akleh, was also shot, reported CNN. The condition of Samudi has been reported to be currently stable.
Al Jazeera has accused the security forces of Israel of deliberately targeting Abu Akleh and indulging in the act of killing her, reported CNN. They have urged the international community to condemn and hold Israel responsible for the incident.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that there was a good chance a Palestinian journalist shot dead earlier in the day during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank was killed by Palestinian gunfire.
Bennett said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is “throwing blame at Israel without any basis.” He said that “according to the information we have gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist.”
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said their security personnel had been operating in the Jenin region to arrest suspects engaged in terrorist activities. They further added that when Abu Alekh was shot, both Palestinian suspects and Israeli forces were firing simultaneously.
“As part of the activity in the Jenin refugee camp, suspects fired heavily at the force and threw explosives. The force responded by firing. Hits were detected,” said the IDF.
Further, whether the Palestinian gunfire was behind Abu Alekh’s cause of death is being investigated, reported CNN. “The event is being examined”, added the IDF.
However, according to Al-Samudi, when Abu Akleh was killed, no Palestinian gunmen were present in the area. He blamed the Israeli army for the shooting.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that his government is ready to conduct a collaborative Israeli-Palestinian investigation, reported CNN. In addition, he stated that journalists must be provided protection in conflict zones.
As per the Bir Zeit University, where she was a teacher, Abu Akleh belonged to a Christian family, born and raised in Jerusalem itself. Before she started working for Al Jazeera, Abu Akleh had worked with Voice of Palestine Radio, Amman Satellite Channel, the Miftah Foundation and Monte Carlo Radio as well. (With inputs from ANI and The Times of Israel)