Al Jazeera reporter killed by Israeli gunfire in Jenin
Killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces triggers outpouring of condemnation and condolences12 May 2022
Al Jazeera :
Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has been shot and killed by Israeli forces while reporting in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
The killing on Wednesday has sparked an outpouring of condolences and condemnation, as well as calls for a thorough investigation to hold those responsible to account.
Here is how media organisations, rights groups and the international community have reacted so far:
In a statement, Al Jazeera Media Network condemned the “blatant murder” that violates “international laws and norms” and called Abu Akleh’s death a “heinous crime, through which it is intended to prevent the media from fulfilling its message”.
“We hold the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of the late colleague Shireen,” the statement said.
Al Jazeera called on the international community to hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their “intentional targeting and killing” of Abu Akleh.
The Palestinian Authority presidency condemned the killing of Abu Akleh as a “heinous crime”, saying the murder was “part of the [Israeli] occupation’s policy of targeting journalists to obscure the truth and commit crimes silently”.
The Palestinian public prosecution said authorities had started an investigation into the killing of Abu Akleh and would take the case to the international criminal court.ff
Qatar’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani offered in a post on Twitter his condolences to Abu Akleh’s family and colleagues at Al Jazeera media network.
“Such horrific crimes by the occupation against unarmed Palestinian people should not pass without
those responsible being held accountable and should not be subject to double standards,” said al-Thani.
Lolwah Alkhater, Qatar’s deputy foreign minister, called the killing “state sponsored Israeli terrorism” and called for an end to “unconditional support to Israel”.
Kuwait’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the small Gulf country strongly condemned Israeli forces’ killing of Palestinian journalist Abu Akleh.
The Israeli military said its forces came under attack with heavy gunfire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and that they fired back. The military said it is “investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen”.
This account was contradicted by witness reports from Al Jazeera journalists, who said there were no confrontations between Palestinian fighters and the Israeli army.
Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign minister, called on Palestinian authorities to hold a joint investigation into what he called an “unfortunate murder”, saying the Israeli forces would continue to operate everywhere “to prevent terrorism and the killing of Israelis”.
The Egyptian foreign ministry paid tribute to Abu Akleh, condemning in a statement the killing the Palestinian journalist.
“We confirm that this [the killing of Abu Akleh] was a clear and heinous breach of international human rights law,” said the ministry in a statement.
Like other countries, Afghanistan’s foreign ministry paid tribute to the Palestinian veteran journalist and said in a statement: “We condemn the Israeli occupation’s deliberate killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Palestine.”
The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, said on Twitter he was “very sad” to learn about the journalist’s killing and called for “a thorough investigation into the circumstances”.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the “assassination” of Abu Akleh.
“Silencing voices of those who tell stories of oppressed people is part of a deliberate strategy employed by Israel & India in Palestine & Occupied Kashmir,” he wrote on Twitter.
Djibouti’s foreign minister said in a statement that his country condemned Israeli occupation forces’ killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, while recognising her prominent role in reporting on Israeli settlements and aggression against Palestinians.
Luis Miguel Bueno, the EU’s spokesperson for the Middle East and North Africa, said on Twitter that he was “shocked” by the killing of Abu Akleh while she was doing her job reporting on Israeli raids in Jenin.
“We express our deepest condolences to her family and call for a swift and independent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
Neil Wigan, the UK’s ambassador to Israel, said on Twitter: “Journalists must be allowed to work safely and freely. I urge a rapid, thorough and transparent investigation.”
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said: “We are shocked and heavily oppose the actions of violence against journalists who are on duty and doing their job, we hope that such events of relevance are dealt with according to law and justice.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly condemned Abu Akleh’s killing and said it shows what lengths Israel is willing to go to in order to prevent media from reporting the oppression of Palestinians.
He also called on international organisations and global media representatives to investigate the issue and “make sure the Zionist regime is held responsible for this crime”. He added that Israel’s offer to investigate lacks credibility.
The Belgian foreign ministry condemned the killing of Abu Akleh.
“We offer our condolences to her loved ones and call for quick and strict investigation,” it said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch
Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, said the killing was part of a systematic approach by Israeli towards journalists covering the occupation.
“It’s, of course, not a one-off event, we know that Israeli forces systematically have used excessive force. This is an event that needs to be understood in the context of this systemic practice and the killings of many other Palestinian journalists,” he said.
International Federation of Journalists
Global media rights group the International Federation of Journalists strongly condemned the killing and demanded an “immediate investigation”.
Reporters Without Borders
Christophe Deloire, Secretary General and Director General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), wrote on Twitter that the killing of Abu Akleh “constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions that mandate the protection of civilians, and of UN Security Council resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists”.
The human rights group said Israeli authorities “must end unlawful killings” called on the international community to act to hold Israel accountable.
“The killing of veteran journalist Shirin Abu Akleh is a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which Israel locks Palestinians. Israel is killing Palestinians left and right with impunity. How many more need to be killed before the international community acts to hold Israel accountable for the continuing crimes against humanity?” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
National Union of Journalists
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which represents journalists in the UK and Ireland, said in a statement that it was shocked by the killing and called for a swift investigation to hold those responsible to account.
“Attacks against Palestinian journalists in Israel have been condemned by the NUJ and International Federation of Journalists and action must be taken by Israeli authorities to ensure the safety and protection of journalists in the country,” the NUJ said.