Japan’s Foreign Press Club Calls for Investigation into Murder of Palestinian Journalist in West Bank

LONDON: Media rights organizations on Wednesday called for a transparent, independent and immediate investigation into the shooting murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and other media organizations have joined forces to demand a fair and prompt investigation into the actions that led to Abu Akleh’s death.

“We are shocked and strongly condemn the killing of prominent Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank while she was doing her job and clearly identified as a journalist,” the Middle East program coordinator said. and CPJ’s North Africa, Sherif Mansour. “We call for an immediate and thorough investigation into his murder. Journalists must be able to do their job safely and freely without being a target.

The Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloire, echoed these demands: “RSF is not satisfied with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s proposal for a joint investigation into the death of this journalist. An independent international investigation must be opened as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile, describing Abu Akleh as a “pioneer”, the Arab and Middle East Journalists Association said in a statement that the organization mourned the loss of “one of the most renowned Palestinian voices in journalism”. .

“AMEJA joins other organizations in demanding a transparent and independent investigation into the actions that led to Shireen’s death,” the statement read. “The video shows Shireen and her colleagues wearing press vests and helmets and were clearly identifiable as journalists. Journalists must be able to do their job without risk of serious harm. Authors must answer for their actions. »

Abu Akleh, a prominent journalist with Al-Jazeera Arabic, was shot in the head on Wednesday while covering an Israeli army operation in the West Bank.

She was a seasoned journalist on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recognized throughout the Arab world as an authoritative voice on the region’s most contested issue.

Immediately after her death, Al-Jazeera released a statement accusing Israeli security forces of “deliberately” targeting Abu Akleh and killing her “in cold blood”.

Israeli authorities have denied the allegations, saying in a statement: “At this time, we cannot determine by whom she was injured and we regret her death.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a tweet that Israel was willing to conduct a joint investigation into his death with the Palestinians.

According to RSF statistics, more than 140 journalists have been victims of violations by Israeli security forces since 2018, and at least 30 journalists have been killed since 2000.