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Al-Jazeera journalist shot dead during Israeli raid in West Bank

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

It said Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian reporter for the broadcaster’s Arabic language channel, was shot and died soon afterward. Another Palestinian journalist working for the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper was wounded but in stable condition.

The health ministry said the reporters were hit by Israeli fire. In video footage of the incident, Abu Akleh can be seen wearing a blue flak jacket clearly marked with the word “PRESS.”

The Israeli military said its forces came under attack with heavy gunfire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and that they fired back. The military said it is “investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen.”

Israel has carried out near-daily raids in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks amid a series of deadly attacks inside Israel, many of them carried out by Palestinians from in and around Jenin. The town, and particularly its refugee camp, has long been known as a militant bastion.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and the Palestinians want the territory to form the main part of their future state. Nearly 3 million Palestinians live in the territory under Israeli military rule. Israel has built more than 130 settlements across the West Bank that are home to 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 reporter, Givara Budeiri, was briefly detained last year during a protest in Jerusalem and treated for a broken hand, which her employer blamed on rough treatment by police.

(AP)

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