Arab, international fury for Israel’s killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqla in West Bank

Sami Hegazi
5 Min Read

Veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqla was shot dead early Wednesday while reporting on an Israeli army raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Palestine condemned in the strongest terms Israel’s violent assassination and deliberate targeting of Al-Jazeera’s journalist, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

It called on the journalists worldwide to expose Israel’s crimes, including crimes against journalists. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court must immediately and urgently open an investigation into Israel’s crimes against journalists and media personnel. Likewise, the Security Council of the UN must assume its responsibility and ensure the protection of the Palestinian people, in accordance with UN resolutions.”

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned in the strongest terms the murder of Abu Aqla, as well as the injury of journalist Ali al-Samoudi.

Ahmed Hafez, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed that this crime against the Palestinian journalist is a flagrant violation of the rules and principles of international humanitarian law and a blatant violation of press freedom and the right to expression.

Hafez called for an immediate investigation into the crime.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the journalists and to all Palestinians, wishing the injured journalist a speedy recovery

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab league, condemned the killing of Abu Aqla, stressing that what happened is a heinous crime against the press and freedom of information that should not be allowed and that requires a comprehensive investigation.

The secretary-general stressed that the Israeli occupation regularly commits such crimes and does not respect human rights, holding the Israeli government responsible for this tragic crime.

The Arab league, in a statement Wednesday, held the occupation government fully responsible for this heinous crime, which calls for international accountability and prosecution of its perpetrators before the competent international justice bodies with all its pillars as a war crime and a grave violation of the rules of international law.

The Egyptian Journalists Syndicate condemned in the strongest terms the murder of Abu Aqla in the occupied territories while on duty.

It called on the international community and concerned international organizations to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the press, and called for opening an expanded international investigation into the crimes of the occupation forces against Palestinian journalists.

The Jordanian government also condemned the heinous murder of Abu Aqla. The Minister of State for Information Affairs, Faisal Al-Sheboul, condemned this crime “committed in cold blood” against journalists wearing the distinctive uniforms of journalists and media workers.

He stressed that this crime constitutes a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and international conventions and norms, which stipulate that journalists and media workers must be protected, calling on the international community to act in order to protect journalists and media workers.

The US embassy in Jerusalem called for an investigation into the killing of journalist Abu Aqla and the injury of her colleague Al-Samoudi.

US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, reiterated his call for a “serious” investigation into the circumstances of the killing of Shireen Abu Aqla, a US citizen.

British ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, also expressed deep sadness at the death of the Palestinian journalist. The European Union Delegation to the Palestinians called for an independent investigation into the incident in order to “bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement: “According to the information we have gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist.”

Later, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Twitter that his government had offered to conduct a joint Israeli-Palestinian investigation, adding: “Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth.”

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