UN, EU, US mourn death of Palestinian journalist in Jenin, call for investigation

PA refuses Israel’s offer to conduct a joint investigation to determine the causes of the incident

The United States, the international community and the Arab countries neighboring Israel have called for an investigation into the death of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, killed during an exchange of shooting between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Jenin on Wednesday during an operation to arrest terrorists.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it was Palestinian gunmen who “probably” shot the journalist by mistake, while the Palestinian Authority blames Israeli troops.

For his part, the IDF Chief of Staff, Aviv Kohavi, said he regretted the death of the journalist and promised to fully investigate the circumstances.

“At this stage, it is not possible to determine by whom she was hit and we are sorry for her death,” Aviv Kohavi said in an IDF statement.

“In order to get the truth, we have set up a special team who will clarify the facts and present them in full and as soon as possible,” he said.

The team will be led by Colonel Meni Liberati, head of the IDF commando brigade.

“The soldiers operated under fire, and showed courage and determination to protect the citizens of the country, and we will continue to do so wherever we are called upon,” Kohavi added.

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US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides has called for a “thorough” investigation into the death of Shireen Abu Aqleh, who was a US citizen.

“Very saddened to learn of the death of American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh. I encourage a full investigation into the circumstances of her death and the injury of at least one other journalist today in Jenin,” a- he declared.

A US embassy spokesman said Abu Aqleh was “deeply respected by many Palestinians and others around the world” for her reporting.

The United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, also called for an “immediate and thorough investigation”, without advancing on the responsibility for the incident.

“I strongly condemn the death of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla who was shot with live ammunition this morning while covering an operation by Israeli security forces in Jenin,” Wennesland said.

For its part, the EU called for “a prompt and independent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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Israeli officials believe Abu Aqleh was likely killed by Palestinian gunfire, but have insisted they will continue to investigate the incident.

“The evidence we have in our hands indicates that there is a chance that the journalist was killed by Palestinian fire. But as we said, we will carry out a full and thorough investigation,” the minister said. the Benny Gantz Defense.

Abu Aqleh, 51, was born in Jerusalem. Possessing both a Jerusalem residency card and a US passport, she regularly reported from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Popular within the Al Jazeera channel, she was a familiar face to tens of millions of viewers across the Arab world.

Jordan also condemned the killing of Abu Aqleh, which it called a “horrendous crime”, while refraining from blaming Israel specifically.

In contrast, Qatari Deputy Foreign Minister Lolwah Alkhater described Abu Aqleh’s death as “Israeli terrorism.”

“This state-sponsored Israeli terrorism must end, unconditional support for Israel must end,” Alkhater tweeted.

Al-Jazeera accused Israeli soldiers of “deliberately targeting and killing ‘Abu Aqleh’ in cold blood”.

After Abu Aqleh’s death, Israeli officials offered to conduct a joint investigation into the incident alongside the Palestinian Authority, which declined.

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