Palestinian journalist’s shooting sparks global outrage

Just last week we marked an important occasion: World Press Freedom Day, which falls annually on May 3. That makes the fatal shooting of veteran Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the contentious West Bank on Wednesday even more galling. Abu Akleh, an Al-Jazeera correspondent, was shot while covering a raid by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) on the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel forces are “fully responsible” for Abu Akleh’s death and has vowed to approach the International Criminal Court to demand an investigation. Israeli officials say that the 51-year-old reporter was killed in an exchange of gunfire but that they have not yet determined who fired the fatal shot. A state service was held in Ramallah, Palestine, on Thursday morning to honour Abu Akleh.

Her death comes nearly a year after an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Gaza that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press. Journalists covering conflicts are protected by international humanitarian law and other reporters who were with Abu Akleh when she was shot say she was targeted despite wearing a jacket that clearly identified her as a member of the press corps. Abbas is correct: a robust independent investigation is needed so that Abu Akleh’s killers can be brought to justice. Journalism is not a crime

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