Qatar emir blames Israel for Al Jazeera journalist death

AFP , Thursday 12 May 2022

The emir of Qatar on Thursday accused Israel over the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank.

Shireen Abu Akleh
A Palestinian man looks at the front pages of local newspapers reporting on the death veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead while covering an Israeli army raid in Jenin, in the West Bank city of Hebron on May 12, 2022. AFP

 

Abu Akleh was "killed by the Israeli occupation forces", Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said at a joint news conference in Tehran with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi.

"We must hold the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable," the Qatari leader added.

Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old Palestinian-American, was shot dead on Wednesday as she covered the Israeli military operation in the Jenin refugee camp.

The Qatar-based pan-Arab television channel charged that the Israeli forces had killed her deliberately "in cold blood".

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had said Wednesday it was "likely" Abu Akleh was killed by stray Palestinian gunfire, but Defence Minister Benny Gantz later conceded it could have been "the Palestinians who shot her" or fire from "our side".

Calls have mounted around the world for an independent investigation into the shooting.

But the Palestinians have turned down an Israeli offer to carry out a joint probe, saying they would investigate alone and share their findings.

Israeli newspaper HAARETZ on Wednesday reported that an initial probe by the Israeli Army showed that the Israeli forces have fired dozens of bullets during the raid in the West Bank that led to the killing of Abu Akleh.

The Iranian president also implicated Israel, the sworn enemy of the Islamic republic.

"We are certain that these crimes cannot bring security to the Zionist regime. To the contrary, they will only increase popular anger" towards Israel, Raisi said.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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