Al Jazeera has accused the Israeli authorities of a “blatant murder, violating international laws and norms,” after one of its journalists was killed amidst live fire in the West Bank this morning.
Shireen Abu Akleh was pronounced dead earlier today during a firefight between Israeli security forces and Palestinian gunmen in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin.
She is one of Al Jazeera’s most well-known reporters and had been covering a military raid around the town and a refugee camp.
Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi was also shot in the back while covering the event and is receiving treatment, according to the Qatar-headquartered news network.
In a statement, Al Jazeera almost immediately blamed the Israeli government and occupation forces for the death of Abu Akleh.
“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, targeting her with live fire,” the broadcaster said.
“Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of Shireen. “Al Jazeera extends its sincere condolences to the family of Shireen in Palestine, and to her extended family around the world, and we pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice.”
According to the BBC, the Israeli military has denied that its forces were targeting journalists and is examining the possibility that the pair were “hit by Palestinian gunmen” during an exchange of fire.
Around 26 Palestinians and 17 Israelis, along with two Ukrainians, have died in recent weeks due to the conflict, according to the BBC.