Al-Jazeera reporter killed during Israeli raid in West Bank

Jerusalem: Al-Jazeera is blaming Israel for the death of its reporter, who was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian reporter for the broadcaster’s Arabic language channel, was shot on Wednesday in the northern West Bank town of Jenin and died soon afterward, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Another Palestinian journalist working for the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper was wounded but in stable condition.

The health ministry said the reporters were hit by Israeli fire. In video footage of the incident, Abu Akleh can be seen wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS.”

The Israeli military says it is investigating the incident and that she may have been hit by Palestinian gunfire.

Al-Jazeera flashed a statement on its channel saying: “We call on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for deliberately targeting and killing our colleague Shireen Abu Akleh.”

The Israeli military said its forces came under attack with heavy gunfire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and that they fired back.

The military said it was “investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen.”

Israel has carried out near-daily raids in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks amid a series of deadly attacks inside Israel, many of them carried out by Palestinians from in and around Jenin. The town, and particularly its refugee camp, has long been known as a militant bastion.

Israel captured the West Bank in 1967, and the Palestinians want the territory to form the main part of their future state. Nearly 3 million Palestinians live in the territory under Israeli military rule. Israel has built more than 130 settlements across the West Bank that are home to nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers, who have full Israeli citizenship.

Israelis have long been critical of Al-Jazeera’s coverage, but authorities generally allow its journalists to operate freely.

Another Al-Jazeera reporter, Givara Budeiri, was briefly detained last year during a protest in Jerusalem and treated for a broken hand, which her employer blamed on rough treatment by police.


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