An Al Jazeera reporter was shot dead during an Israeli raid in the West Bank on Wednesday, the Qatar-based broadcaster said.
According to Al Jazeera, Shireen Abu Akleh – who was also an American citizen – was wearing a standard press bulletproof vest when she was shot in the back of the head while reporting in the city of Jenin. Her producer was also shot in the incident but survived Associated Press reported. While Israeli officials said Abu Akleh’s fatal injuries may have been caused “By Palestinian armed gunfire,” the Palestinian Ministry of Health and another journalist who was wounded during the raid said the shots were fired by Israeli forces. “Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which only intends to prevent the media from doing their duty,” the news network said in a statement.
“She fell to the ground,” said Shaza Hanaysheh, a Palestinian reporter Associated Press. “The soldiers didn’t stop shooting even after she fell. Every time I put my hand out to Shireen, the soldiers shot at us.”
Abu Akleh, 51, was a well-known reporter in the region who had worked for Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language channel for over two decades. As news of her death spread, journalists from around the world paid tribute to Abu Akleh on social media, and many called for better protections for reporters in conflict zones. Washington DC-based Al Jazeera reporter Biesan Abu-Kwaik called her colleague “unique,” while Nadi Abusaada, editor of the academic journal Arabic urbanismsaid the reporter was “an icon for all of us who grew up watching her on TV every day.
Other journalists strongly condemned the circumstances leading to Abu Akleh’s death. “Shireen is an American citizen. Will that make a difference?” asked journalist Dalia Hatuqa, noting that she does not want Abu Akleh’s death to become “another statistic” of the ongoing conflict in the West Bank. “I want the US government to admit that they have failed us as American citizens, that their guns are killing us, that our lives do not matter as long as the killers are ‘allies.'” mondo whitePalestinian news director Yunma Patel called the shooting “an execution”.
Israel, meanwhile, condemned the attack and promised a thorough investigation into Abu Akleh’s death. “Journalists need protection in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to find out the truth,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said. said in a statement.
Wednesday’s incident wasn’t the first time journalists have been caught in the crossfire while reporting in the West Bank. Almost a year ago, the Associated Press Offices in Gaza were destroyed during an Israeli airstrike – an event the news agency described as “shocking and appalling”. In 2018, two Palestinian reporters died from gunshot wounds while covering mass protests near the Israeli border. A Associated Press The videographer was also allegedly shot in the leg by Israeli forces later that year – although Israel has denied the news organization’s repeated requests to investigate the incident.
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/shireen-abu-akleh-al-jazeera-killed-west-bank-1351621/ Journalists mourn Al Jazeera reporter killed in Israeli raid