Thursday, May 19, 2022

Al Jazeera reporter shot dead in West Bank

JERUSALEM ( Associated Press) — A journalist for Al Jazeera television was shot dead Wednesday morning while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian journalist for Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel, was shot and died shortly after, the ministry added. Another Palestinian journalist working for the Jerusalem daily Al-Quds was injured but was in stable condition.

The Ministry said the journalists had been hit by Israeli fire. In a video of the event, Abu Akleh is seen wearing a blue jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS”.

The Israeli army said its forces had come under heavy fire and explosives during their operation in Jenin, and had returned fire. The army said it was “investigating the incident and checking the possibility that the journalists were hit by Palestinian gunmen.”

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Israel has carried out almost daily raids in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks amid a series of deadly attacks inside Israel, many of them carried out by Palestinians from Jenin and surrounding areas. The town, and specifically its refugee camp, has been a well-known militia stronghold for years.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War and the Palestinians claim the territory as the main part of a future state. Nearly 3 million Palestinians live there under Israeli military control. Israel has built more than 130 settlements in the West Bank where almost 500,000 Jewish settlers live, who have full Israeli citizenship.

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Israelis have been critical of Al Jazeera’s coverage for years, though authorities generally allow their journalists to operate freely. Another Al-Jazeera journalist, Givara Budeiri, was briefly detained last year during a protest in Jerusalem and treated for a broken hand, which her employer blamed on harsh treatment by the police.

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