US calls for ‘thorough investigation’ into Palestinian journalist’s death

American ambassador to Israel Tom Nides calls for probe, confirms that slain journalist held American citizenship.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides called for a probe into the shooting death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Wednesday morning and confirmed that the late reporter was an American citizen.

Jerusalem-born Abu Akleh, 51, was fatally shot in the head during a firefight between Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli army in Jenin.

“Very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh of AJArabic/AJEnglish,” Nides wrote in a tweet Wednesday morning.

“I encourage a thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death and the injury of at least one other journalist today in Jenin.”

Although the Palestinian Health Ministry did not state that she was shot by IDF soldiers, and video from the scene depicts Palestinians firing indiscriminately in the general area where Abu Akleh was killed, Al Jazeera and much of the Arab world has been quick to blame Israel.

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“Shocked by the killing of @AlJazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla who was reporting on IDF incursions in Jenin,” the office of the EU Representative to West Bank, the Gaza Strip and UNRWA wrote on Twitter.

“We express our deepest condolences to her family and call for a swift and independent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Notably, an Arabic-language Facebook page belonging to the same EU authority, which was verified by the social media platform as being under that office’s management, used much harsher language when characterizing the incident.

“We are shocked by the murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her coverage of the Israeli forces’ invasion of Jenin city,” reads the Arabic text on the page.

“I don’t think we killed her,” said IDF spokesman Ran Kochav in an interview with Kan News. “We proposed to the Palestinians to open a swift joint probe. If we indeed killed her, we’ll take responsibility, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.”

Israel has called on the Palestinian Authority to conduct a joint pathological analysis and investigation in order to determine the cause of death, but so far the Palestinians have refused, Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated.