Al Jazeera Journalist Shot and Killed While Covering Israeli Raid on West Bank

·2-min read

Al Jazeera TV reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed while covering an early-morning Israeli Army raid on a refugee camp in the West Bank, the network confirmed Wednesday.

The network accused the Israeli army of targeting the veteran war correspondent, a Jerusalem-born U.S. citizen who had come to be known as “the face of Al Jazeera in Palestine.” The Israeli Defense force has denied that, suggesting she might have been hit by Palestinian fire.

Abu Akleh was covering early-morning Israeli raids on a refugee camp in the city of Jenin. The network says she was wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked “PRESS” and was shot in the head; another journalist was wounded in the back.

The Israeli Defense Force said it was there to arrest people for “terrorist activities,” adding that both Palestinian suspects and Israeli forces were shooting during the raid. The IDF said it was investigating whether the journalists were hit by Palestinian gunfire.

But the Al Jazeera Media Network called Abu Akleh’s killing a “blatant murder” and “heinous crime,” and accused Israeli forces of targeting the journalist for assassination. The IDF has strongly denied that it targeted reporters.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that Israeli officials have “offered Palestinians a joint pathological investigation” of Abu Akleh’s death.

Al Jazeera described the 51-year-old veteran war correspondent as “a household name across the Arab world for her bold coverage of the Israeli-Palestine conflict.”

Colleagues mourned the loss, calling Abu Akleh a brave and caring reporter with an infectious laugh who was committed to her profession and cared little for her celebrity.

“Our loss is so huge,” said Al Jazeera correspondent Nida Ibrahim, a colleague of Abu Akleh’s in the occupied West Bank. “She was kind, dedicated and devoted. She knew the story through and through and she understood the nuances. She brought a wealth of information to her reporting.”

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