UN says Al Jazeera journalist killed by Israeli fire

AFP , Friday 24 Jun 2022

The United Nations said Friday that its findings showed that the shot that killed Al Jazeera TV journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11 was fired by Israeli occupation forces.

Shireen Abu Akleh
File Photo: Al-Jazeera s late veteran TV journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh (Akleh), shows her reporting for the Qatar-based news channel from Jerusalem on May 22, 2021. AFP


The Palestinian journalist, who was wearing a vest marked "Press" and a helmet, was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli army operation in Jenin camp in the northern West Bank.

"We find that the shots that killed Abu Akleh came from Israeli security forces," UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

"It is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation.

"We at the UN Human Rights Office have concluded our independent monitoring into the incident.

"The shots that killed Abu Akleh and injured her colleague Ali Sammoudi came from Israeli occupation forces and not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by Israeli authorities" she said.

Reporter reacting (R) as an unidentified man tries to lift the body of the channel's veteran journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh (Akleh) from the ground after she was fatally wounded by gunfire in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, on May 11, 2022. AFP

She added that the information came from the Israeli military and the Palestinian attorney general.

"We have found no information suggesting that there was activity by armed Palestinians in the immediate vicinity of the journalists," Shamdasani said.

Colleagues and friends react as the corpse of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the offices of the news channel in the West Bank city of Ramallah. on May 11, 2022. AFP

In line with its human rights monitoring methodology, the UN rights office inspected photo, video and audio material, visited the scene, consulted experts, reviewed official communications and interviewed witnesses.

The findings showed that seven journalists arrived at the western entrance of the Jenin refugee camp soon after 6:00 am.

At around 6:30 am, as four of the journalists turned into a particular street, "several single, seemingly well-aimed bullets were fired towards them from the direction of the Israeli occupation forces.

"One single bullet injured Ali Sammoudi in the shoulder; another single bullet hit Abu Akleh in the head and killed her instantly."

Israeli occupation police confront mourners as they carry the casket of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral in east Jerusalem, Friday, May 13, 2022. AP

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has urged Israel to open a criminal investigation into Abu Akleh's killing and into all other killings by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank and in the context of law enforcement operations in Gaza.

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