Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces while covering a raid in the occupied West Bank town Jenin.
Abu Akleh, 51, was a well-known dual-citizen American-Palestinian reporter. She was a veteran observer of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and renown across the Arab world as an authoritative voice on the conflict, and widely admired and beloved by both colleagues and viewers.
Al Jazeera called on the international community to condemn the Israeli forces and hold them accountable for “deliberately targeting and killing our colleague.”
The Palestinian president said that the Israeli government was fully responsible for what he described as a “crime of execution.”
An Al Jazeera producer, Ali Samoudi, was also shot in the back, but is in stable condition in the hospital. He said that the first bullet hit him, and the second his Shireen. According to Al Jazeera, the reporters were going to film the Israeli army operation, and suddenly they were shot without being asked to leave or to stop filming.
Both individuals were wearing the staple blue flak jackets clearly marked with the word “press,” as well as a helmet.
The Israeli Defense Force said that its military forces were operating in the area to arrest suspects in “terrorist activities.” They have tried to blame the shooting on Palestinian gunfire, and said it is under investigation.
Israel’s foreign ministry and the Israeli military tweeted out a video that shows gunfire from Palestinian forces to claim it was Palestinians who shot the journalist.
However, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that its researchers concluded the Palestinian gunfire seen in the video could not possibly have been the gunfire that hit Abu Akleh.
Al Jazeera said it was a “blatant murder.”
The Israeli military frequently launches arrest raids into the Jenin refugee camp, and have stepped up these raids recently.