Israel accused of "blatant murder" after death of Palestinian journalist

Jenin, West Bank - A journalist has been killed during an Israeli raid on a Palestinian refugee camp in the northern West Bank, in what Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera has called a "blatant murder" by Israeli forces.

Colleagues of Shireen Abu Akleh grieve over her coffin.
Colleagues of Shireen Abu Akleh grieve over her coffin.  © REUTERS

Veteran correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh suffered a gunshot wound to the head and died, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Wednesday.

Another journalist from the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds also suffered gunshot injuries in the incident in Jenin, the ministry said.

The Israeli army said on Twitter that soldiers had been deployed to the Jenin refugee cmap to arrest "terror suspects," and that suspects fired at the troops and threw explosive devices.

The soldiers fired back and hits were identified, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

"The IDF is investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen," the army added.

Al Jazeera, on the other hand, pointed the finger squarely at Israel: "In a blatant murder, violating international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Palestine, Shireen Abu Akleh," the channel said in a statement.

She was "conducting her journalistic duty, clearly wearing a press jacket that identifies her a journalist," the channel said.

"Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty."

Multiple Palestinian reporters on the scene said that Abu Akleh was shot by Israeli snipers, who also allegedly hit Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi in the back. The network said he is "currently undergoing treatment."

More than 20 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the end of March, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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