Kuwait Parliament condemns assassination of Al-Jazeera correspondent

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Al-Jazeera reporter killed in raid

KUWAIT CITY, May 11, (Agencies): The State of Kuwait condemned, in the strongest terms, the Israeli occupiers’ assassination of Palestinian journalist Shereen Abu-Aqleh and the injury of her colleague at a refugee camp near Jenin city, saying that this heinous act violated international laws and norms.

In this undated photo provided by Al Jazeera Media Network, Shireen Abu Aqleh, stands in an area where the Dome of the Rock shrine at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem is seen at right in the background. (AP)

A statement by the Foreign Ministry held the Israeli occupiers responsible for this crime, which came in contrast with freedom of speech and journalistic integrity, stressing that the assassination was part of a long history of inhumane treatment perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

The International community must hold the Israeli occupying forces responsible for crimes committed against the Palestinian people, providing them with protection within the parameters of international and humanitarian laws, added the statement. The Foreign Ministry expressed Kuwait’s sincere condolences over the assassination of Abu-Aqleh and hoped for the swift recovery of her colleague involved in the Jenin incident.

The assassination of Abu- Aqleh reflected the brutal and horrific nature of the Israeli occupation over Palestinian lands, said Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim Wednesday. Via his official twitter account, Speaker Al-Ghanim said that the murder of Abu-Aqleh displayed “the weakness and humiliating nature of the Zionist entity, which fears words of truth and reality.” Abu-Aqleh was killed while on duty in uncovering the horrific facts and acts of the brutal Israeli occupation, affirmed Al-Ghanim, which refuted Israeli accusations of so-called “terrorism” when it came to Palestinians right to fight back.

The top Kuwaiti lawmaker encouraged Palestinian journalists and media personnel to continue their quest for truth and justice against the Israeli oppressors. Abu Aqleh 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.

The Israel army initially raised the possibility that Abu Aqleh might have killed by stray Palestinian fire, saying militants were also present in the area, However, army chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi later stepped back from that assertion, saying that “at this stage, we cannot determine by whose fire she was harmed and we regret her death.” Abu Aqleh, 51, was a respected and familiar face in the Middle East, known for her coverage of the harsh realities of Israel’s military occupation for the past three decades.

Her death reverberated across the region and set alight social media. She reported for Al Jazeera’s Arabic language channel and was also a U.S. citizen. The State Department called her death “an affront to media freedom.” She was fatally shot in the head early Wednesday on the outskirts of the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. Her producer, Palestinian journalist Ali Samoudi, was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the back.

Al Jazeera accused Israel of “deliberately targeting and killing our colleague.” Palestinian journalists who were with Abu Akleh at the time said they made their presence known to Israeli soldiers, and that they did not see militants in the area. 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 was investigating “and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen.” Kochavi, the army chief, said a special team had been formed to investigate. Israel released a video of Palestinian gunmen firing in an alley of the Jenin camp, later saying the video was meant to bolster its contention that Palestinians were firing in the area. However, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released its own video casting doubt on those claims.

The B’Tselem video was taken by one of its researchers who walked between the location of the militants in the video and where Abu Aqleh was shot. It also provided coordinates for the two locations. They appeared to be about 300 meters (330 yards) apart and separated by walls and buildings. Dror Sadot, a spokeswoman for the group, said its evidence shows “there is no way” that the gunfire shown in the video killed Abu Aqleh. “There is no clear shot,” she said. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett noted that in the video, a militant is heard shouting that a soldier has been wounded. Because no Israelis were hurt, he said that suggested the gunmen had shot a journalist instead. Abu Aqleh was born in Jerusalem and began working for Al Jazeera in 1997. She regularly reported from across the Palestinian territories, making her a well-known face on television screens across the Arab world

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