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Slain Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was icon of Palestinian coverage

Shireen Abu Akleh’s death reverberated across the region
Israel Palestinians Journalist Killed
Posted at 4:09 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 16:09:18-04

A veteran Palestinian American Al Jazeera correspondent who was shot dead while reporting on an Israeli raid in the West Bank as the Israeli military clashed with Palestinian gunmen, was a highly respected and familiar face in the Middle East.

Shireen Abu Akleh's death reverberated across the region and set social media alight. Her unflinching coverage of the harsh realities of Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territories was inextricably linked with her own identity as a Palestinian journalist on the front lines.

Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Abu Akleh, 51, was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday. The broadcaster and a reporter who was wounded in the incident blamed Israeli forces. (Abbas Momani/Pool via AP)

Since 1997, the 51-year-old journalist had reported on forced home evictions, the killings of unarmed Palestinian youth, hundreds of Palestinians held without charge in Israeli prisons, and the expansion of Jewish settlements. Her killing on Wednesday underscores the heavy price the conflict continues to exact on Palestinians.

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wedn

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Abu Akleh died of wounds from an Israeli soldier's gunshot while in West Bank.

Posters showing Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and Arabic that reads, "the icon of the Palestinian media, coverage continues, goodbye Shireen," while journalists and mourners gather at the Al Jazeera channel office, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Abu Akleh was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

The broadcaster and two reporters who were with her blamed Israeli forces for her killing on Wednesday. She was one of Al Jazeera's best-known reporters. Israel’s defense minister, Benny Gantz, promised a transparent investigation and said he was in touch with U.S. and Palestinian officials.

Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Abu Akleh, 51, was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday. The broadcaster and a reporter who was wounded in the incident blamed Israeli forces. (Abbas Momani/Pool via AP)

The Israeli military initially suggested that Abu Akleh might have been killed by stray fire from Palestinians, but Gantz was more cautious on on Wednesday evening. He asked that Palestinians hand over the bullet that killed her and promised that all parts of the investigation would be made public.