Arab countries avoid blaming Israel for Al Jazeera reporter’s death

Saudi and Emirati officials haven’t commented while other Arab reactions don’t mention Israel by name.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Although Israel is facing harsh criticism from the Palestinians and the West for the death of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, the Arab world’s response has been comparatively low-key.

Abu Akleh was killed while covering a shootout in Jenin on Wednesday. Also injured was Ali Samoudi, an Al Jazeera producer.

The Palestinian Authority and the Qatari news network Abu Akleh worked for accuse the IDF of deliberately killing the 51 year old journalist.

The PA refuses to cooperate with an Israeli investigation. The IDF’s preliminary findings say Abu Akleh was not killed by Israeli fire.

However, the Times of Israel reported that the wider Arab world’s response to the incident has strikingly not matched the level of Palestinian criticism.

Neither the United Arab Emirates, nor Saudi Arabia have commented on the incident while statements issued by the Foreign Ministries of Bahrain and Jordan condemned Abu Akleh’s death, but did not mention Israel by name.

The UAE and Bahrain have moved closer to Israel since signing the Abraham accords in 2020. The Saudis do not have diplomatic relations with Israel but maintain quiet security coordination.

A thread tweeted by a Turkish official close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also notably omitted any mention of Israel by name.

Fahrettin Altun, who serves as Erdogan’s communications director, tweeted, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqla’s killing and offer my condolences to her family and colleagues.”

“It is unacceptable for journalists, who serve the public and the truth, to be targeted under any circumstances.”

“I call for a proper, transparent, and swift investigation into this incident and for those responsible to be brought to justice.”

Ankara is courting Jerusalem’s cooperation to deliver natural gas to Europe as Israeli-Turkish ties thaw.

In contrast, Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, and Kuwait, stridently denounced Israel. Neither of those Gulf states have diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Qatari foreign ministry condemned “in the strongest terms the Israeli occupation forces’ assassination” of Abu Akleh, describing her deateh as a “a heinous crime and a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and a blatant infringement on freedom of media and expression and the right of peoples to access information.”

Meanwhile, U.S., European Union and United Nations officials separately called on Israel to investigate the incident.