Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that Israeli authorities were fully responsible for the murder of a veteran Al Jazeera reporter during clashes in the occupied West Bank, and called for an international investigation.
Shireen Abu Akleh suffered a gunshot wound to the head in Jenin on Wednesday. Al Jazeera and Qatar, where the news network is based, also accused Israeli troops of the murder.
- Journalist killed in West Bank was Palestinian with American nationality and one of the main reporters of ‘Al Jazeera’
- Israeli attack on West Bank kills Al Jazeera journalist; video shows body rescue
Burial of Shireen Abu Akleh, from the ‘Al Jazeera’ network, who died in the West Bank (Photo: Abbas Momani/ AFP)
Israel, which mourned Abu Akleh’s death, said the fatal shot could have been fired by a Palestinian sniper. He proposed a joint investigation with the Palestinians, asking them to provide the bullet for analysis.
“We reject the joint investigation with the Israeli occupation authorities because they committed the crime and because we don’t trust them,” Abbas said during an official ceremony honoring Abu Akleh, who was Palestinian.
Israeli strike in West Bank kills ‘Al Jazeera’ journalist
He added that the Palestinian Authority “will immediately go to the International Criminal Court to locate the criminals”.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed that the Palestinian Authority had rejected a shared investigation.
“I reiterate my expectation of open, transparent and full cooperation,” he said in a statement.
Photo of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh shot dead during an Israeli operation in the West Bank – Photo: REUTERS/Imad Creidi
Abu Akleh, 51, was wearing a blue vest clearly marked “Press” while working in Jenin, he told Al Jazeera. She was covering the latest arrest operation launched by the Israeli military amid deadly Arab attacks in Israel. Another Palestinian journalist at the scene, Ali Samoodi, was wounded.