The United States and the United Nations have strongly condemned the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist who was covering an operation by the Israeli military in the West Bank.
Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, a Palestinian American, was shot despite being reportedly well-identified as a journalist while in the city of Jenin.
“We are heartbroken by and strongly condemn the killing of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank,” tweeted State Department spokesman Ned Price.
The U.N. Human Rights Office tweeted it was “appalled” by the killing.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay called for an investigation into the killing.
“I condemn the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh,” she said. “The killing of a clearly identified press worker in a conflict area is a violation of international law. I call on the relevant authorities to investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Al Jazeera described Abu Akleh’s death as blatant, cold-blooded murder by the Israeli military, which said dozens of Palestinian gunmen had confronted troops who arrested a Hamas militant in Jenin.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Abbas was making unfounded allegations before Israel could conduct a “thorough investigation” of the events.
“It appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist,” Bennett said in a statement.
Some information for this report came from Reuters.