Israeli forces shot dead Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
She was hit by live ammunition on Wednesday while covering Israeli raids in the city of Jenin and was rushed to hospital in critical condition, according to the ministry and Al Jazeera reporters.
She was pronounced dead in hospital, the ministry said.
The circumstances of his death are unclear, but videos of the incident show Abu Akleh was shot in the head, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said.
“What we know for now is that the Palestinian Ministry of Health has announced his death. Shireen Abu Akleh, was covering events unfolding in Jenin, in particular an Israeli raid in the city, located in the northern occupied West Bank, when she was hit by a bullet in the head,” Ibrahim said. speaking from the Palestinian city of Ramallah. .
“As you can imagine, this is a shock to the journalists who have worked with her.”
Speaking through tears, Ibrahim said Abu Akleh was a “highly respected journalist” who has worked with Al Jazeera since the start of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000.
Abu Akleh was wearing a press vest when she was killed.
Another Palestinian journalist was also shot in the back with live ammunition, the health ministry said. Ali Samoudi, who works for the Jerusalem-based Quds newspaper, is said to be in stable condition.
Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Ramallah, Walid al-Omary, said there had been no shooting by Palestinian gunmen, disputing an Israeli statement that referred to the possibility.
The Israeli army said it was attacked with heavy fire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and retaliated. He added that he was “investigating the event”.
Many in Palestine and abroad have taken to social media to express their shock and grief.
“Israeli occupation forces murdered our dear journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was covering their brutality in Jenin this morning. Shireen was the most prominent Palestinian journalist and a close friend,” wrote Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK.
The Israeli occupation forces murdered our dear journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was covering their brutality in Jenin this morning. Shireen was the most prominent Palestinian journalist and a close friend. We will now hear the ‘concerns’ of the UK government and the international community pic.twitter.com/M6lKTbceHJ
— Husam Zomlot (@hzomlot) May 11, 2022
Those who knew her described her as brave, kind and the voice of Palestinians.
“Shireen was a brave, kind and high integrity journalist whom I and millions of Palestinians grew up watching,” wrote Fadi Quran, an activist with the campaign group Avaaz.
“Horrified to learn of Israel’s murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin! Shireen boldly covered Israel’s aggression in Palestine for more than two decades,” wrote Huwaida Arraf, a Palestinian-American activist and lawyer.
“Incredulous,” wrote Salem Barahmeh, a Palestinian activist. “We grew up with his reporting on the second Intifada. She was our voice. Rest in power and in peace. Another day, another tragedy.
Giles Trendle, managing director of Al Jazeera, said the network was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Shireen Abu Akleh.
“We have had a history across the world, but particularly in this region, where we have had tragedies,” he said, calling for a transparent investigation into Abu Akleh’s murder.
Al Jazeera’s offices in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Associated Press, were bombed by Israeli forces during an offensive a year ago.
“As journalists, we carry on. Our mission is to continue. We will not be silenced despite attempts to silence us,” Trendle said. “Our mission is always to continue to inform the world of what is happening. And that’s more important than ever.
In disbelief. Israeli apartheid forces killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh this morning while she was covering their invasion of Jenin. We grew up with his reporting on the second Intifada. She was our voice. Rest in power and in peace. Another day, another tragedy. https://t.co/FkaNdCTFUU
— Salem Barahmeh (@Barahmeh) May 11, 2022