World demands probe into killing of Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh

World demands probe into killing of Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh
Abu Akleh, 51, was a household name across the Middle East.

The killing of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has sparked an outpouring of condolences and condemnation, as well as calls for a thorough investigation to hold those responsible to account.

Al Jazeera, citing Palestinian authorities, said Israeli forces shot her during a raid Wednesday. The news network said it held the government and military accountable.

Abu Akleh was wearing a protective vest that identified her as a member of the news media, video showed. Another Al Jazeera journalist, also wearing a protective vest, was shot in the back.

Abu Akleh, 51, was a household name across the Middle East.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera said in a statement on Wednesday that Abu Akleh, 51, was “assassinated in cold blood” by “the Israeli occupation forces.”

Al Jazeera Media Network called on the international community to hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their “intentional targeting and killing” of Abu Akleh.

“We hold the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of the late colleague Shireen,” the statement said.

Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian Authority said it held Israel “responsible” for the killing of Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American, who was hit by a bullet in the head during an Israeli operation in the Jenin refugee camp.

“Let me ask, when does the criminal have the right to take part in the investigation against his victim?” the spokesman of the Palestinian Authority, Ibrahim Milhim told Al Jazeera.

Hamas

The Hamas movement, which governs the Gaza Strip, condemned the killing “in the strongest terms,” calling it an “assassination.”

The killing “is a new crime added to a series of crimes” committed by Israel, especially against journalism in Palestine.

Qatar

Qatar’s deputy foreign minister condemned the killing of the Al Jazeera reporter by “Israeli occupation” in the West Bank.

In a Twitter post, she called for an end to “state sponsored Israeli terrorism.”

Qatar’s deputy foreign minister condemned the killing of the Al Jazeera reporter by “Israeli occupation” in the West Bank.

European Union

The European Union urged an “independent” investigation into the death of the veteran reporter.

The chief spokesperson for the EU diplomatic service, Peter Stano, said in an official statement it is significant that a “thorough, independent investigation clarifies all the circumstances of these incidents as soon as possible and that those responsible are brought to justice.”

White House

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, has condemned the killing of Abu Akleh.

In a statement, she said: “We call for a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of her death. Investigating attacks on independent media and prosecuting those responsible are of paramount importance.”

UN human rights

The office of the UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said it was “appalled,” and also called for “an independent, transparent investigation.”

“We are appalled at the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin, Palestine,” UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s office said on Twitter, adding: “We urge an independent, transparent investigation into her killing. Impunity must end.”

Palestine’s UN ambassador

Palestine’s UN ambassador Riyad Mansour has said his country will “not accept” an investigation by the “Israeli occupying authority” and has held the Israeli army responsible for the “assassination” of Abu Akleh.

Adressing reporters at the UN headquarters in New York, Mansour said: “The story of the Israeli side does not hold water, it is fictitious and it is not in line with reality and we do not accept to have an investigation on this issue with those who are the criminals in conducting this event itself.”

US House Speaker

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the killing of Abu Akleh an “horrific tragedy.”

In a statement on Twitter, Pelosi said a “thorough, objective investigation is needed now.”

White House Press Secretary

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has described Abu Akleh as a “reporting legend”.

She said: “We call for an immediate and thorough investigation and full accountability.”

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has called on the American government to investigate the killing of Abu Akleh, saying that Washington should not allow “the same people committing those war crimes to do the investigation,” referring to Israel.

“We need to investigate, ourselves, the killing of an American citizen. Somebody that was out there being a guardian of truth and doing her job was murdered by an apartheid government that we continue to fund with unconditional aid,” she told Al Jazeera in a TV interview.

Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has also called for a “moment of silence” in the US House of Representatives.

UN special envoy for the Middle East peace process

The UN special envoy for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, has condemned the killing of Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank.

“I strongly condemn the killing of Al Jazeera’s reporter, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot with live fire this morning while covering an Israeli security forces’ operation in Jenin, in occupied West Bank,” Wennesland tweeted.

He went on to say: “I call for an immediate and thorough investigation and for those responsible to be held accountable. Media workers should never be targeted.”

Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association

The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) has called for a “transparent and independent investigation into the actions that led” to Abu Akleh’s killing, stressing that the perpetrators of the shooting must be held accountable.

Reporters Without Borders

Christophe Deloire, Secretary General and Director General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), wrote on Twitter that the killing of Abu Akleh “constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions that mandate the protection of civilians, and of UN Security Council resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists.”

“RSF is disappointed by Israeli Foreign Minister @yairlapid’s proposal that his country take part in a joint investigation into the circumstances of the journalist’s death: an independent international investigation must be launched,” Deloire said.

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on authorities to conduct a “swift, immediate, and transparent investigation” into the killing Abu Akleh.

“We are shocked and strongly condemn the killing of the prominent Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank while doing her job and while clearly identified as a journalist,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator, Sherif Mansour.

“We call for an immediate and thorough investigation into her killing. Journalists must be able to do their jobs safely and freely without being a target,” he added.

Amnesty

Amnesty International called for an end to Israel’s “unlawful killings” and other crimes of apartheid against the Palestinians.

“The killing of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which Israel locks Palestinians,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

International Federation of Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said Abu Akleh’s killing is a “deliberate systematic targeting of a journalist.”

“Yet again journalists, wearing press vests, clearly identified were targeted by Israeli snipers,” Anthony Bellanger, the secretary of the IFJ said in a statement. “We will seek to add this case to the ICC complaint submitted by the IFJ, detailing such systematic targeting.”

Palestine Journalists Syndicate

The Palestine Journalists Syndicate has decried Abu Akleh’s death as “a clear assassination perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army.”

Human Rights Watch

Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, said Abu Akleh’s death by Israeli forces is not unusual.

“We know that Israeli forces systematically have used excessive force,” he told Al Jazeera.

He went on to say: “When news of crimes is reported, Israeli forces regularly say they’ll investigate. The reality is there is no accountability for those sorts of abuses when it comes to actions by the Israeli authorities.”