An Al Jazeera journalist was killed in Jenin on Wednesday during an exchange of fire between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian shooters, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. The military is investigating the incident.
The journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh “was hit by a live bullet on Wednesday while covering Israeli raids in the city of Jenin and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition,” According to the Qatar-based media outlet, citing the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Al Jazeera report claimed she had been shot in the head, and cited the Palestinian Health Ministry as blaming Israeli forces for her death.
According to the Israeli military, IDF forces had come under “massive fire” during a counter-terror raid in the Jenin refugee camp and had returned fire. Raids were also conducted in the nearby village of Burqin and other locations in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday, the military said in a statement.
“The possibility that journalists were hit by Palestinian gunmen is being examined,” the statement continued. “The incident is being examined.”
There were no casualties among Israeli forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in response to the incident that “according to information that we have, there is a considerable chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, are the ones who caused the unfortunate death of the journalist.”
The Palestinian gunmen had been captured on film saying “We hit a soldier, he’s lying on the ground,” but no Israeli soldiers were hit during the clash, said, Bennett. “[This] raises the possibility that they fired on and hit the journalist,” he added.
The Palestinians have so far rejected Israel’s offer of a joint pathological investigation, said Bennett.
“IDF units will continue to act against terrorists in their bases, in order to break the wave of murderous terror and return security to the civilians of Israel. We support our soldiers,” he added.
Jenin has been on the scene of intensive Israeli counter-terror operations in March and April, following a wave of deadly terrorist attacks.
On April 27, a Palestinian gunman was killed in an exchange of fire that erupted in Jenin during an Israeli pre-dawn operation in the city.