Ramallah, Palestinian Territory — Palestinians plan a memorial service on ThursdayJoe was killed while covering an Israeli raid in the West Bank, but has rejected a US-led call for a joint investigation into his death. Palestinian-American Abu Aqleh, 51, a veteran of Qatar-based Al Jazeera’s Arabic TV service, was shot in the head during clashes at the Jenin refugee camp, a major flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz admitted late Wednesday that it may have been “the Palestinians shot them” or “shot on our side” – seemingly to back Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks that He was killed by “probable” Palestinian bullets.
“We’re not sure how he was killed, but we want to get to the bottom of the incident and uncover as much truth as possible,” Gantz told reporters.
In Al Jazeera, Palestinian officials and witnesses said Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces, and the network insisted he was targeted “intentionally” and “in cold blood”.
Israel has publicly called for a joint investigation into the killing and asked the Palestinian authorities to hand over the bullet fired to Abu Akleh for forensic investigation.
An Israeli security source told AFP that Israel was prepared to test the projectile before Palestinian and US officials, “out of transparency”.
The European Union has urged an “independent” investigation, while the United States has called for a “transparent investigation” into the killing, a call echoed by UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet.
A preliminary autopsy and forensic examination were conducted in Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, hours after his death, but no final findings have emerged.
Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian Authority official, a close confidant of President Mahmoud Abbas, has ruled out a joint investigation.
Al-Sheikh said on Twitter: “Israel has requested a joint investigation and the handing over of the bullet that killed journalist Shireen. We have refused this and we have confirmed that our investigation will be completed independently.” ”
“We will notify his family, #USA, #Qatar and all official authorities and the public about the results of the investigation with high transparency. All indicators, evidence and witnesses confirm his murder by the #Israel Special Units.”
US State Department spokesman Ned Price echoed the sentiments of US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides on Wednesday, condemning the killing of Abu Akle and calling for an “immediate and thorough” investigation into the shooting. Price called it an “insult to media freedom everywhere”.
Abu Akleh rose to prominence for Arabic audiences through his involvement in Al Jazeera in 1997 and his coverage of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, from 2000–2005.
“She was the sister of all Palestinians,” her brother Antoun told AFP at the family home in Israel-linked East Jerusalem. “What happened cannot be silenced… it will not be forgotten.”
In a sign of her status among Palestinians, she was set to receive Palestinians in the form of a full state memorial at the presidential complex in Ramallah on Thursday morning.
he died about a year laterIn which were the offices of Al Jazeera and news agency AP.
Tensions have risen again in recent months as Israel grapples with aIt has killed at least 18 people since March 22, including an Arab-Israeli police officer and two Ukrainians.
A total of 31 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs have died during the same period, according to an AFP tally, including attacks and casualties by Israeli security forces in West Bank operations.