Cairo/Jerusalem, May 11 (EFE).- An Al Jazeera correspondent was killed while covering a raid by the Israeli army in the Jenin city of the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
Palestinian Shireen Abu Akleh was hit by a bullet before being rushed to a hospital, where she was declared dead, the Palestinian health ministry said.
The Qatar-based media network accused the Israeli military of murdering Abu Akleh in “cold blood.”
“In a blatant murder, violating international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces assassinated (the journalist) in cold blood … targeting her with live fire while conducting her journalistic duty,” Al Jazeera said in a statement.
The channel said she was wearing a press jacket that identified her as a journalist.
Another journalist, Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi, was also shot in the back while covering the same event. He is undergoing treatment and is in stable condition.
“Al Jazeera 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,” it said.
The media network called on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for “their intentional targeting and killing of Shireen.”
The Qatari government called the killing of Abu Akleh a “heinous crime” and a “flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and a blatant attack on freedom of media and expression and the right of peoples to obtain information.”
Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, meanwhile, said the journalist was likely killed by Palestinian gunfire.
“According to the information we have gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist,” he said.
Bennett added that Israel has offered to conduct a joint pathological analysis and investigation, but the Palestinians have refused this offer so far.
The Israeli Defense Forces “will continue their counterterrorism operations, in order to end the deadly wave of terror and restore security to the citizens of Israel,” the prime minister stressed.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Gaza-ruling Hamas Islamist group blamed Israel for Abu Akleh’s killing, condemning the incident as a “heinous.”
The slain journalist had been working for Al Jazeera since the start of the second Intifada.
Over the past month, security forces have intensified raids across the occupied West Bank, particularly in the Jenin area, in response to a wave of deadly attacks that have killed 18 Israelis.
Some 30 Palestinians have died during these operations, some of them unarmed civilians with no links to Palestinian militias. EFE