Al Jazeera journalist killed by Israeli forces in West Bank

JENIN, Palestine : An Al Jazeera journalist was killed by Israeli army fire in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

A ministry statement said Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was shot in the city of Jenin.

Another journalist, Ali Al-Samoudi, was shot in the back, the ministry added.

Al-Samoudi said he was accompanied by Abu Akleh and a group of journalists in the vicinity of UNRWA schools near Jenin camp, adding that all were wearing helmets and vests for journalists.

“We were directly targeted by the occupation forces,” he said in statements cited by the state news agency Wafa.

He said Al Jazeera journalist lost her life after she was shot in the head.

“The place where the journalists were present was clear to the occupation soldiers, and there were no armed men or clashes in that area,” Al-Samoudi said. “We were deliberately targeted.”

Videos on social media platforms showed people transferring Abu Akleh in a car, while she was wearing a journalist vest.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli forces raided the city of Jenin to arrest a Palestinian, triggering clashes with angry residents.

The Israeli army said in a statement that it was “investigating” the Al Jazeera journalist’s death.

A military statement said army forces, in cooperation with the Shin Bet internal security service and the border guards, worked “in the last hours in the Jenin refugee camp and near the village of Burqin, and in several other areas of the West Bank to arrest wanted persons.”

The army suggested that the Al Jazeera correspondent may have been shot by Palestinians as they clashed with Israeli forces, which “responded with fire, without causing any casualties.”

Al-Jazeera TV network, for its part, said Abu Akleh was “one of the first generation of the channel’s field correspondents.”

“For a quarter of a century, Abu Akleh was at the center of danger to cover wars, attacks and aggressions of the Israeli occupation, against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories,” the Doha-based channel said.

Abu Akleh was born in Jerusalem, in 1971, and holds a BA in journalism and media from Yarmouk University in Jordan.— AA

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