A colleague of slain Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday about his fellow journalist's final moments before she was shot while covering an Israeli army raid.
Veteran journalist Abu Akleh was among the reporters to rush to the scene in the northern city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank. She was escorted by a team of the Qatar-based network, including producer Ali Al-Samoudi, who had arrived earlier.
Before Abu Akleh, 51, was killed near him on Wednesday morning, Al-Samoudi said, he had been injured by the Israeli forces.
Anadolu Agency met with Al-Samoudi in the hospital, where he narrated what happened.
He said that to avoid being targeted, they and the other journalists had made sure to stand in an area visible to the Israeli forces so the soldiers know their location.
As Abu Akleh arrived, the Israeli forces fired the first bullet towards them, which did not hit anyone, he recounted. The second bullet struck him in the shoulder, he said, after which Abu Akleh shouted: "Ali got injured."
The third bullet was the deadly round that hit Abu Akleh in the head, killing her, said Al-Samoudi
Israel 'directly and deliberately targeted us'
Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett claimed that armed Palestinians who he said were in the area were likely to blame for Abu Akleh's death.
Al-Samoudi rejected this account outright, saying: "We were in a place far from armed clashes with Palestinians, from where we couldn't reach that area as the Israeli forces sealed it off."
"The Israeli army directly and deliberately targeted us, and no Palestinian gunmen were in the area," Al-Samoudi asserted.
B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, also rejected the Israeli narrative, saying it was "incorrect."
"Documentation of Palestinian gunfire distributed by Israeli military cannot be the gunfire that killed Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh," B'Tselem said on Twitter.
The group's spokesman Kareem Jubran told Anadolu Agency that it had closely examined a video disseminated by the Israeli army, suggesting that Abu Akleh was shot by a Palestinian gunman.
He said their research revealed that the angle of the shot that the video suggests killed Abu Akleh does not correspond to the location where she was killed.
"Documentation of Palestinian gunfire distributed by Israeli military cannot be the gunfire that killed Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh," B'Tselem wrote on Twitter.
Documentation of Palestinian gunfire distributed by Israeli military cannot be the gunfire that killed Journalist Shireen Abu Aklehhttps://t.co/7v9Kk4Ue62— B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) May 11, 2022
Jubran also said that B'Tselem would conduct another comprehensive investigation.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.