Shireen Abu Akleh: A Palestinian Al Jazeera Journalist Dies in an Israeli Army Intervention in the West Bank | International
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The Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by the Israeli Army in Jenin (West Bank) this morning, according to the Qatari news network and the Palestinian Authority, who accuse the military of having “murdered her in cold blood”. while the Israeli government attributes his death to fire from Palestinian forces during an “anti-terrorist operation”. Another journalist, Ali Samodi, was also injured. The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, has called for a “thorough investigation of the circumstances” of the death of Abu Akleh, a Palestinian who also had US nationality.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has blamed Israel for the 51-year-old journalist’s death. Earlier, a Palestinian spokesman had stated that Abu Akleh was “killed” by Israeli forces while reporting on the military operation in Jenin, where clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers have intensified in recent weeks.
The Israeli version is the opposite. A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated that, based on the information Israel has gathered so far, “it seems likely that the Palestinian gunmen who were shooting indiscriminately at the time were responsible for the journalist’s unfortunate death.” ”. The statement maintains that the Palestinian Authority has declined Israel’s offer to carry out a joint autopsy on the journalist’s body and reflects what was previously stated by the Israeli army, which, in its own official note on the event, assures that its soldiers fired in response to a “mass fire” by Palestinian militants in Jenin.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has announced that its country will carry out a “thorough investigation” into the death of the journalist, in which it urged the Palestinian Authority to collaborate. The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, has demanded such an investigation from the Israeli authorities to determine “the circumstances of the death” of Abu Akleh, who also had US nationality, and the injuries suffered by the other reporter in Jenin this Wednesday. At the time of her death, Abu Akleh was wearing a bulletproof vest identified with the word “press” and her helmet, but a bullet hit her below her ear, an unprotected area.
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The journalist injured in the shooting, Ali Samodi, who is in a hospital in Jenin, has accused the Israeli forces of “opening fire suddenly” against the group of journalists: “They did not ask us to leave or to leave ( to film). We were shot. One bullet hit me and one hit Shireen. They killed her in cold blood,” Samodi told Reuters.
Another of the reporters present during, Mujahed al Saadi, corroborated this story, in statements to the same news agency. Al Saadi explained that the shots were deliberate and stated, like his wounded colleague, that the group of professionals had chosen to position themselves at “a point where there were no clashes” between the Palestinians and the Israeli military. He also confirmed that the informants had identified themselves as the press.
“In a matter of seconds [tras entrar en el campo de refugiados de Yenín], the first shot was fired. I told my colleagues ‘We are being shot at’. I turned around and saw Shireen (Abu Akleh) on the ground and Shatha Hanaysheh [otra periodista] hiding under a tree and screaming. The shooting continued for more than three minutes on the teams [de informadores]. Ali was injured [Samodi] but he was able to cross the street and reach a safe place. The shots continued. I took refuge in a stairwell at the cement factory as the shooting continued. The last person the sniper could see was our colleague Shatha. The shots at her continued as she stood under the tree, and we were unable to render first aid to Shireen. They also shot at the young men who were in the street and who were trying to get Shireen out. Every time someone advanced, they fired,” Al Saadi recounted.
Al Jazeera maintains that its reporter has been murdered “in cold blood” by Israeli soldiers in what it calls “a horrific crime that breaks international standards.” Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old Palestinian, had worked for the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA), Radio Voice of Palestine, Amman Satellite Channel, Moftah Foundation and Radio Monte Carlo, until joining Al Jazeera in 1997.
Abu Akleh’s death comes almost a year after the destruction of the Jala tower, where the offices of the Qatari channel in the Gaza Strip were located. The building was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike during the war between the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Israel.
In late April, Palestinian Lufti Labadi, 18, was also killed by Israeli fire, four days after being hit by a bullet during another raid in the Jenin area. Over the last month, Israeli security forces have intensified raids and what they define as “anti-terrorist operations” throughout the West Bank, and in particular in the Jenin area, in response to the wave of attacks Israel has suffered, six since the end of the year. March with a balance of 18 deaths.
Some thirty Palestinians have died during these operations, some of them unarmed civilians with no links to Palestinian militias, and dozens have been arrested.
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