Al Jazeera journalist killed in Israeli raid in West Bank

An Al Jazeera journalist was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin early Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

He said Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian journalist for the broadcaster’s Arabic-language channel, was shot and died shortly afterwards. Another Palestinian journalist working for the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper was injured but in stable condition.

The Health Ministry said the journalists were hit by Israeli fire. In video footage of the incident, Abu Akleh can be seen wearing a blue body armor clearly marked with the word “PRESS”.

The Israeli army said its forces came under heavy fire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and they retaliated. The army said it was “investigating the event and examining the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen”.

Almost daily raids

Israel has carried out near-daily raids in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks amid a series of deadly attacks inside Israel, many carried out by Palestinians from Jenin and surrounding areas. The city, and in particular its refugee camp, has long been known as a militant stronghold.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war, and the Palestinians want the territory to form the main part of their future state. Nearly three million Palestinians live in the territory under Israeli military rule. Israel has built more than 130 settlements across the West Bank that house nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers, who have full Israeli citizenship.

Israelis have long been critical of Al Jazeera’s coverage, but authorities generally allow its journalists to operate freely. Another Al Jazeera journalist, Givara Budeiri, was briefly detained last year during a protest in Jerusalem and treated for a broken hand, which her employer blamed on police mistreatment.