Middle East

Arab world condemns killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Al Jazeera journalist shot dead during Israeli raid in city of Jenin in West Bank

Arab world condemns killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh


Several Arab countries on Wednesday condemned the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The 51-year-old Al Jazeera correspondent was shot dead while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning. Another journalist, Ali Al-Samoudi, was shot in the back, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Condemning the killing, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said: "The Israeli occupation adds the murder of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to its bloody history, a new chapter of abuse, aggression and disregard for life and justice."

In a telegram addressed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Aoun offered condolences over the "martyrdom of Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot by Israeli treachery," according to a Lebanese presidency statement.

Faisal Shboul, the Jordanian Cabinet spokesman, described the killing as a "heinous crime committed in cold blood."

"This crime is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and international conventions and norms, which stipulate that journalists and media workers must be protected," Jordan’s Petra news agency quoted Shboul as saying.

He called on the international community to take action to protect journalists and media workers.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi also condemned the killing of Abu Akleh, describing it as a "heinous crime and a blatant attack on the freedom of journalism.”

"May God bless the soul of a professional journalist and voice of truth, who has shed light on the suffering of the Palestinian people," Safadi said on Twitter.

‘Blatant attack’

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry called the killing "a heinous crime and a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, and a blatant attack on freedom of journalism and expression."

In a Twitter post, Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Alkhater said: “Israeli occupation killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by shooting her in the face while wearing the press vest and a helmet.”

“This state sponsored Israeli terrorism must stop, unconditional support to Israel must end,” she added.

Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush said on Twitter: "The assassination of Abu Akleh is a public violation of international conventions and norms and human rights.”

In a statement, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry also condemned the killing.

"This heinous crime, for which the occupation authorities bear full responsibilities, is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, a blatant infringement on freedom of expression, and a new, irrefutable evidence of the ugliness of the occupation's aggression against the Palestinian people," the statement said.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in a statement, considered the killing of Abu Akleh as "a blatant violation of international laws.” It called for an immediate investigation and for holding those responsible to account.

The incident came “in the context of the Israeli violations of press and media freedom, as part of its policy aimed at blocking the truth, muzzling the press, covering up its daily violations, and withholding such information from the world public opinion,” the statement added.

For its part, the Arab League described the killing of the Palestinian journalist as "the slaying of the voice of truth, truth and freedom, and human justice."

The Arab League held the Israeli government responsible for the “heinous crime.”

Abu Akleh was born in Jerusalem in 1971 and earned a BA in journalism and media from Yarmouk University in Jordan. She also held US citizenship.

*Writing by Bassel Barakat

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