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UN Security Council Condemns ‘Israeli’ Killing of Palestinian Journalist in West Bank
By Staff, Agencies
The United Nations Security Council [UNSC] unanimously condemned the assassination of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by ‘Israeli’ forces.
Abu Akleh was fatally shot by ‘Israeli’ troops on Wednesday as she was covering a Zionist army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
In a press statement on Friday night, members of the council conveyed their sympathy and deepest condolences to the victim's family.
They called for “an immediate, thorough, transparent, fair and impartial investigation” into her death, and stressed the need to ensure accountability.
The council members reiterated that “journalists should be protected as civilians.”
The Security Council statement, however, made no mention of the violence during Friday’s funeral for Abu Akleh.
Television footage showed pallbearers struggling to prevent Abu Akleh’s coffin from falling to the ground as baton-wielding ‘Israeli’ police officers charged at them, grabbing Palestinian flags from mourners.
The attacks were condemned as “a scene that violates all norms and international laws.”
The UN’s Human Rights Office has also called for a thorough and independent investigation into the killing, saying it might constitute a war crime.
Abu Akleh was wearing a press vest when she was hit by a live bullet. In video footage of the incident, she can be seen wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS.”
Ali Samoudi, another Palestinian journalist for Al Jazeera channel, was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the back.
Samoudi told The Associated Press they were among a group of seven reporters who went to cover the raid early Wednesday.
He said they were all wearing protective gear that clearly marked them as reporters, and they passed by ‘Israeli’ troops so the soldiers would see them and know that they were there.
He said the first shot missed them, then a second struck him, and a third killed Abu Akleh. He also noted there were no combatants or other civilians in the area — only the reporters and ‘Israeli’ army troops.
Shaza Hanaysheh, a reporter with a Palestinian news website who was also among the reporters, gave a similar account, stressing there were no confrontations or shooting in the immediate area.
She said that when the shots rang out, Abu Akleh ran toward a tree to take shelter.
“I reached the tree before Shireen. She fell on the ground,” Hanaysheh said. “The soldiers did not stop shooting even after she fell. Every time I extended my hand to pull Shireen, the soldiers fired at us.”
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