UN Security Council Condemns Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh | United Nations News

The Council also calls for an immediate and impartial investigation into the death of the Al Jazeera journalist who was shot dead earlier this week.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously condemned the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank, diplomats say.

The statement, a rare case of Security Council unity on an Israel-related issue, also called for “an immediate, thorough, transparent and impartial investigation” into his death.

The UN Human Rights Office also called for a thorough and independent investigation into the killing, saying it could constitute a war crime.

According to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity with the AFP news agency, the negotiations at the Security Council on Friday were particularly arduous.

China has successfully pushed the United States to remove paragraphs condemning abuses against media around the world, defending their freedom and urging their protection while covering military operations, according to diplomatic sources and different versions of the statement. obtained by AFP during the discussions.

The final text stipulated that “journalists must be protected as civilians”.

Abu Akleh, an internationally respected veteran journalist for Al Jazeera, was shot dead by Israeli armed forces while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. She wore a helmet and vest that clearly identified her as a journalist.

The Security Council statement made no mention of the violence at Abu Akleh’s funeral on Friday.

Television footage showed pallbearers struggling to keep Abu Akleh’s coffin from falling to the ground as baton-wielding Israeli police charged at them, grabbing Palestinian flags from mourners.

The attacks were condemned by Al Jazeera as “a scene that violates all international norms and laws”.

The Israeli military said its initial investigation into Abu Akleh’s death showed a fierce gunfight was underway in Jenin about 200 yards (approximately 220 yards) from where she was killed, but that ‘She had not been able to determine whether she had been shot by Israeli forces or Palestinian fighters.

In a statement on Friday, the army said Palestinian gunmen recklessly fired hundreds of rounds at an Israeli military vehicle, some towards where Abu Akleh was standing. He said Israeli forces returned fire and without doing a ballistics analysis he was unable to determine who was responsible for his death.

Journalists who were with Abu Akleh, including one who was shot and wounded, said there were no clashes or fighters in the immediate area when she was killed.

Al Jazeera accused Israel of “flagrant murder” and called for an independent investigation into his death.

UN experts noted that Abu Akleh’s killing came amid rising violence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza in recent years.

Last year, the statement said, marked the highest number of Palestinian deaths resulting from clashes with Israelis since 2014. It also came amid a high rate of attacks on Palestinian journalists.

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