Leaders and elected officials around the world are reacting to the death of veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank on Wednesday.
According to Al Jazeera and reporters who witness the raid, Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli sniper. The broadcaster accused Israeli forces of “deliberately targeting and killing our colleague,” despite the fact that Abu Akleh and her colleague were wearing blue flak jackets clearly marked with the word “PRESS.”
Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday. The Qatar-based network interrupted its broadcast to announce her death. (The Associated Press)
Her producer, Palestinian journalist Ali Samoudi, was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the back.
Israel officials initially raised the possibility that Abu Akleh might have been killed by stray Palestinian fire, but Army Chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi later stepped back from that assertion, saying that “at this stage, we cannot determine by whose fire she was harmed and we regret her death.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told reporters that Israel has been in touch with US and Palestinian officials, and said all parts of the investigation would be made public.
Abu Akleh, 51, was a respected and well known journalist in the Middle East, who spent three decades covering Israel’s military occupation of Palestine.
On Wednesday, several Canadian politicians, including Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Edmonton MP Heather McPherson and UN Ambassador Bob Rae shared their reactions on Twitter.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki condemned the killing on Twitter, calling Abu Akleh’s death “a tragic loss and an affront to media freedom everywhere.”
Ned Price, the spokesperson for the US Department of State under Secretary Antony Blinken, called Abu Akleh’s death “an affront to media freedom everywhere.”
Tom Nides, the US Ambassador to Israel, called for a “thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death and the injury of at least one other journalist today in Jenin.”
Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi also called for a “thorough, objective investigation.”
US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who is the first woman of Palestinian descent in Congress, wrote that Abu Akleh was “murdered by a government that receives unconditional funding by our country with zero accountability.”
Other officials from around the world, including Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Turkish presidency’s spokesperson Fahrettin, former UK Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani also shared their thoughts.
Meanwhile, around the world paid tribute to Abu Akleh.
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