Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank shot and killed Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran Palestinian American journalist working for Al Jazeera, as she covered an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp early this morning. That’s according to Al Jazeera and the Palestinian Health Ministry. Video released by Al Jazeera shows the moments after Abu Akleh was shot in the head.
A spokesperson for the Israeli army told a military radio station Abu Akleh was likely killed by Palestinian fire, though he offered no evidence. Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief said Abu Akleh was targeted by “direct shot” from an Israeli sniper. A second Palestinian journalist, Ali al-Samudi, was hospitalized in stable condition after he was shot in the back. Speaking from a hospital in Jenin, al-Samudi said he was among four journalists pinned down by Israeli snipers.
Ali al-Samudi: “The occupation is murderous and criminal. They shot us for no reason. We, a group of journalists, were there wearing our full press uniforms, in addition to the helmets with the word 'press' written on them in large letters, as big as the whole world. We were obvious.”
In a statement, Al Jazeera said it holds the Israeli government and its troops responsible for the killing, condemning it as a “heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty.” U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides called for an investigation, tweeting that he was “Very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.”