UN condemns killing of Palestinian-American journalist

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The United Nations Security Council on Friday night strongly condemned the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and called for “an immediate, thorough, transparent, and fair investigation.” fair and objective”.

A press statement adopted by the 15 council members after removing language emphasized the importance of media freedom and the need for journalists working in the regions, diplomats said. dangerous area in the face of Chinese and Russian assertiveness, diplomats said. is private.

The council statement reiterated “that journalists should be protected like civilians” and also condemned the injury to Abu Akleh’s colleague.

Abu Akleh, 51, is a household name throughout the Arab world, revered for covering Palestinian life under Israeli rule for the Al Jazeera satellite channel for the past 25 years.

She was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli army raid in the West Bank town of Jenin. Journalists who were with her, including a colleague of Al Jazeera, who was shot and wounded, said Israeli forces fired on them even though they were clearly identified as reporters.

Anger over Abu Akleh’s murder escalated on Friday as Israeli riot police pushed and beat alcoholics, prompting them to quickly drop her coffin in a shocking start. for her funeral. It became perhaps the largest exhibit of Palestinian nationalism in Jerusalem in a generation.

Israel said it was investigating the incident. It initially suggested she might have been shot by Palestinian militants, without providing evidence, but later backed down. Israel called for a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority, which administers areas of the West Bank, and to cooperate with it on security matters.

But the Palestinians rejected a joint investigation and demanded an independent international investigation.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Israel for her murder and said he would immediately ask the International Criminal Court to investigate. The ICC opened an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes more than a year ago, an investigation Israel has denied as biased.

The Security Council did not use the word international, calling for an objective investigation and stressing the need to ensure accountability.

The council declaration negotiations were led by Norway, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Norway’s UN Ambassador Mona Juul praised the “good cooperation”, calling the protection of journalists a priority for her country.

“We are particularly concerned about the increasing trend of attacks on media works and female journalists in particular,” Juul said in a statement.

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