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Al Jazeera Journalist Is Killed During Clashes in West Bank


JERUSALEM — A journalist for Al Jazeera was fatally shot in the West Bank city of Jenin early Wednesday during clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinians, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting of the journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, were not immediately clear. Al Jazeera, citing the health ministry, said she had been shot in the head by Israeli forces during a raid.

The Israeli military said on Twitter that it was investigating the possibility that journalists had been injured “possibly by Palestinian armed gunfire.”

Ms. Abu Akleh, 51, a veteran journalist, was wearing a protective vest that identified her as a member of the news media, Al Jazeera reported.

Another journalist, Ali al-Samodi, who was also wearing a protective vest, was injured by a bullet in the back, according to the official Palestinian news agency, which cited the health ministry. His condition was not immediately clear. He works for the Jerusalem-based Quds newspaper, according to Al Jazeera.

In the wake of a series of attacks by Palestinians in Israel, the Israeli military has been carrying out regular military raids into the Palestinian city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank since early April.

The Israeli military said on Twitter that its forces had been in Jenin to arrest suspects and came under fire first.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned what he called the “assassination” of Ms. Abu Akleh and said he held Israel fully responsible for her death. President Abbas said her death was part of a broader Israeli policy of targeting journalists to “blur reality and carry out crimes in silence.”

Last month, international and Palestinian journalist groups filed a formal complaint with the court accusing Israel of war crimes against journalists and of systematically targeting journalists working in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, as well as of failing to properly investigate killings of news media workers.

Ms. Abu Akleh “joins other journalists that Israel killed as they worked on revealing the crimes of the Israeli occupation,” the Palestinian information ministry said in a statement.

The ministry vowed to “intensify efforts to achieve justice for our journalists and ensure accountability for the Israeli occupation for its crimes against journalists and further ensure ending Israeli impunity.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had offered to conduct a joint investigation with the Palestinians into the “sad death” of Ms. Abu Akleh: “Journalists must be protected in conflict zones, and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth.”

Hiba Yazbek contributed reporting from Nazareth.

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