A veteran Palestinian journalist was shot dead by Israeli soldiers during a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said. Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Aqleh, 51, was shot in the head while covering the Israeli occupation army operation in the Palestinian city. In footage from the scene, Abu Aqleh can be seen wearing a press vest and helmet. The Ministry of Health said Abu Aqleh was hit by a live bullet in the head and rushed to the hospital in critical condition until she was declared dead.
Palestinian health officials reported that journalist Ali Samoudi — who works for the Al-Quds newspaper — was also shot in the back, although his condition was deemed to be stable.
Shireen Abu Aqleh, the Palestinian journalist shot dead by occupation soldiers who worked for Al-Jazeera (Screenshot: Al-Jazeera)
According to the Israeli military, troops entered Jenin’s refugee camp and the nearby town of Burqin “to arrest terror suspects.” The army said it was “looking into the possibility that journalists were injured, potentially by Palestinian gunfire.” A Palestinian health official dismissed that possibility, “The assessment is that she was killed by Israeli gunfire, and witnesses at the scene attest to this as well.”
Abu Aqleh was a widely known and respected Palestinian journalist. A longtime veteran of the pan-Arab network, Abu Aqleh’s post made her a familiar face for millions of viewers. She was a native of Jerusalem, had been covering Israel and the occupied West Bank for Qatar based news organization for the past two decades. Abu Aqleh worked for several agencies such as UNRWA, Radio Voice of Palestine, Amman Satellite Channel, the Moftah Foundation, and Radio Monte Carlo, eventually switching to Al Jazeera in 1997
“Shireen Abu Aqleh—a wonderful human being, a remarkable journalist, a dear longtime friend—was shot & murdered by the Israeli occupation army. The heart breaks. Palestine grieves. Rest in peace & power & love,” Hanan Ashrawi, wrote on Twitter.
“Our deepest condolences to the family of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, who was martyred today by the bullets of the Israeli occupation,” Hussein Al Sheik, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) wrote on Twitter.
Close to 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces since late March, including a teenage girl who was returning home from studying. In April, 18-year-old Hanan Khadour from the town of Faqqua near Jenin died from wounds she sustained during an occupation army raid on Jenin who were carrying out arrests against Palestinians suspected of being involved in the attack in Tel Aviv that killed three men.