Middle East

Calls grow for investigation into death of Al-Jazeera journalist in West Bank

The United Nations, US, UK and EU, on Wednesday called for a thorough investigation into the death of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead while covering an Israeli raid in the city of Jenin. Another journalist, Ali Al-Samoudi, was shot in the back, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

“I strongly condemn the killing of Al-Jazeera’s reporter, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot with live fire this morning while covering an Israeli security forces’ operation in Jenin, in occupied West Bank,” UN Special Envoy for Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said on Twitter.

“I call for an immediate and thorough investigation and for those responsible to be held accountable. Media workers should never be targeted,” he added.

US Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, also called for investigating the reporter’s death.

READ: Will the world seek justice for Shireen Abu Akleh and stop Israel killing more Palestinians?

“Very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh of Al-Jazeera,” Nides tweeted. “I encourage a thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death and the injury of at least one other journalist today in Jenin.”

A similar call for investigation was echoed by the US Palestinian Affairs Unit.

“Our deepest condolences on the death of Al-Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was well-known to us and all Palestinians,” the Unit said in a tweet.

“We encourage a thorough investigation into her death and the injury of fellow journalist, Ali Al-Samoudi,” it added.

Neil Wigan, the UK’s Ambassador to Israel, said he was “deeply saddened” by Abu Akleh’s death and called for a “rapid, thorough and transparent investigation.”

“Journalists must be allowed to work safely and freely,” he said on Twitter.

The EU delegation to the Palestinians said it was “shocked by the killing of Al-Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was reporting on ISF incursions in Jenin.”

A group of journalists gather to stage a protest in support of female reporter of Al-Jazeera television channel Shireen Abu Akleh died as a result of fire opened by Israeli soldiers, in Gaza City, Gaza on May 11, 2022. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

“We express our deepest condolences to her family and call for a swift and independent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the delegation tweeted.

In a tweet, Luis Miguel Bueno, EU Arabic spokesperson for the Middle East and North Africa, also demanded a “prompt and independent” probe.

Earlier on Wednesday, Al-Jazeera television accused Israeli forces of deliberately assassinating Abu Akleh “in cold blood.”

“We pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice,” the channel vowed.

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

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