JERUSALEM (VINnews) — During the course of an Israeli military operation against terrorists in Jenin, a prominent Al-Jazeera journalist has been killed, apparently in crossfire between the two sides.Join our WhatsApp group
Al-Jazeera correspondent Shirin Abu Aqleh, 51, a veteran commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, was shot in the head while covering the Israeli army operation in the city, which has seen high tensions in recent days. In footage from the scene prior to the shooting, Abu Aqleh can be seen wearing a press vest and helmet.
Palestinian sources added that another journalist- Ali Samudi, who works for the Al-Quds newspaper — was also shot in the back, although his condition was deemed to be stable.
Israeli troops entered the refugee camp in Jenin, a known hotbed of terrorist activity, as well as the neighboring town of Burqin, in order to arrest terror suspects.
“During the operation in Jenin refugee camp, suspects fired an enormous amount of gunfire at troops and hurled explosive devices. [Israeli] forces fired back. Hits were identified,” the Israeli army said in a statement.
The IDF said it was “looking into the possibility that journalists were injured, potentially by Palestinian gunfire.”
Towards the end of this video of the shooting in Jenin terrorists can be heard excitedly announcing that they “shot a soldier who is laying on the ground”. No IDF soldier was injured in Jenin this morning. That “soldier” the terrorist shot was actually Shirin Abu Akla. pic.twitter.com/tFrWqiTc9m
— Chaim (@ChaimSmierc) May 11, 2022
A Palestinian health official dismissed that possibility in a phone call.
“The assessment is that she was killed by Israeli gunfire, and witnesses at the scene attest to this as well,” the official said.
Al-Samudi also rejected the IDF statement, stressing that “The Israeli army shot us” since “There was no Palestinian gunman in the place.”
Israel has offered to make a joint investigation with the PA but the offer was rejected by the Palestinians.
Abu Aqleh was a well-known and respected Palestinian journalist. A longtime veteran of Al-Jazeera, Abu Aqleh’s role made her a familiar face to millions of viewers.
Colleagues and friends mourned Abu Aqleh as a courageous journalist who had covered Israel and the Palestinians for decades.
“Never did I imagine I would be reading headlines about Shireen dying. She covered both Intifadas; to me, she was invincible, everlasting, a beautiful person that will outlast all of us,” Palestinian journalist Dalia Hatuqa tweeted.
Fatah, the party of the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, condemned Abu Akleh’s killing.
“Targeting Shireen is a clear targeting of the truth, and [Israel] wants to cover its crimes against the Palestinian people,” said Osama al-Qawasami, Fatah’s spokesman. “Israel wants to send a message to journalists around the world that the fate of whoever wants to cover the truth will be shot and killed.”
The Hamas terror group also condemned Abu Aqleh’s death as a “deliberate assassination.”