The prominent correspondent was born in Jerusalem and was at the forefront of coverage of the apartheid state’s ongoing crimes against Palestinians.
Israel says it plans to give Qatar the findings of its full military investigation that it will be conducting into the killing of Al Jazeera’s correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, according to Haaretz.
The initial findings of the investigation were given to Qatar on Wednesday, including a false Israeli conclusion that Abu Akleh was attacked by Palestinian militants rather than murdered by Israeli army fire. Israel will also convey the findings to the Palestinian Authority and the United States, as Abu Akleh was a US citizen, according to Defence Minister Benny Gantz.
The 51-year old Al Jazeera journalist was shot in the head by Israeli snipers while wearing her protective press jacket. She was covering the Israeli raids of Jenin.
The news shook the world to its core, especially those who grew up watching her on their television screens over the years. She had been reporting for Al Jazeera since the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000.
She was one of the network’s most prominent faces, noted for her bravery in carrying out her journalistic role in dangerous of circumstances.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, called for action against Israel for their killing of Abu Akleh.“Such horrific crimes by the occupation against unarmed Palestinian people should not pass without those responsible being held accountable and should not be subject to double standards,” he tweeted.
According to Haaretz, Israeli officials have pressed Qatar in recent weeks to moderate Al Jazeera’s reporting on the Temple Mount violence imposed by the occupation. Israel saw the network’s thorough coverage of the crimes it was committing as an incitement campaign.
International calls for an investigation
The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) has demanded a “transparent and independent investigation into the actions that led” to Abu Akleh’s death, emphasising the importance of holding those responsible for the shooting accountable.
“We expect that an investigation takes place. Our desire and position is that it has to be internationally credible,” he added.
The killing of Abu Akleh has “appalled” the UN human rights office, which has also urged a transparent investigation into her death.
“We are appalled at the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin, Palestine,” UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s office said on Twitter, adding: “We urge an independent, transparent investigation into her killing. Impunity must end.”
Ned Price, a spokesman for the US Department of State, addressed reporters in Washington DC, and urged for a “immediate and thorough investigation and full accountability.”
“Israel has the wherewithal to conduct a thorough investigation,” said Price when he was asked if the US would support an international investigation.
Israel cannot investigate itself
Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s UN ambassador, has stated that his country will “not accept” an investigation by the “Israeli occupying authority” and has implicated the Israeli army for Abu Akleh’s “assassination.”
“The story of the Israeli side does not hold water, it is fictitious and it is not in line with reality and we do not accept to have an investigation on this issue with those who are the criminals in conducting this event itself,” Mansour said, addressing reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Secretary General and Director General Christophe Deloire wrote on Twitter that the killing of Abu Akleh “constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions that mandate the protection of civilians, and of UN Security Council resolution 2222 on the protection of journalists.”
“RSF is disappointed by Israeli Foreign Minister @yairlapid’s proposal that his country take part in a joint investigation into the circumstances of the journalist’s death: an independent international investigation must be launched,” Deloire said.
Activists online also reacted to Israel conducting its own investigation.