Israeli forces shot dead an Al Jazeera journalist in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday
Shireen Abu Akleh was hit by a live bullet, while videos of the incident showed that Abu Akleh was shot in the head.
One Palestinian official said she had been “assassinated” by Israeli forces while reporting on a raid in the city of Jenin, which has seen intensified army raids in recent weeks as violence has surged.
The Palestinian health ministry has confirmed Abu Akleh’s death and said a second reporter, Ali Samodi, who works for the Jerusalem-based Quds newspaper, had been wounded.
However, in a statement, the Israeli military claimed its troops had shot back after coming under “massive fire” in Jenin and that “there is a possibility, now being looked into, that reporters were hit — possibly by shots fired by Palestinian gunmen”.
Meanwhile, a journalist working with Akleh, Nida Ibrahim, said Akleh was a “very well respected journalist” who had been working with Al Jazeera since the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000. “As you can imagine, this is a shock to the journalists who have been working with her.”
Immediately after the news was reported, human rights activists, fellow journalists, and politicians took to Twitter to condemn the incident and express their condolences.
Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom Husam Zomlot said Akleh was the “most prominent Palestinian journalist and a close friend”.
Palestinian American activist Huwaida Arraf demanded that Israel should be held accountable.