A panel of UN human rights experts has condemned the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Aklar as a war crime.
In a press release issued on Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for a comprehensive and independent inquiry into his death.
“According to international humanitarian law and international human rights law, the authorities have a responsibility to protect journalists from harm and to protect them from harm,” the statement said. Journalists’ duties can be war crimes. “
Senior al-Jazeera correspondent Abu Eckerley was killed on Wednesday while reporting on an attack on Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Jenin. He made it clear that he was a journalist wearing a helmet and shirt.
“We demand a speedy, independent, impartial, effective, comprehensive and transparent investigation into the assassination of Shirin Abu Akleh,” the statement said.
“Abu Eckerley’s assassination was another serious attack on media freedom and freedom of expression at a time of increasing violence in the occupied West Bank.”
Thousands of people gathered on Friday in the streets of his hometown of Jerusalem for his funeral. Israeli police beat mourners with batons and coffin-carriers knocked it down while transporting his body from a hospital in the vicinity of Sheikh Zarra in occupied East Jerusalem.
The Israeli army also attacked the chariot carrying his body, dragging the Palestinian flag from inside.
“Al Jazeera Media Network strongly condemns this act of violence and demands that the Israeli government take full responsibility for the safety of all the victims and the family of our friend Shirin,” Broadcaster said in a statement on Friday. Tell me.
Abu Akleh was buried next to his parents in the Mount Zion Protestant Cemetery.
UN experts say Abu Akal’s assassination comes in the wake of escalating violence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent years. “Last year was the worst year for the Palestinians since 2014 as a result of the conflict with Israel,” the statement said. This also comes in the wake of increasing attacks on Palestinian journalists.
At least Palestinian journalists have been killed and hundreds injured since 2000.
“The role of journalists is important, especially in situations marked by extreme tension and continued abuse of occupied Palestinian territories,” the experts said.
“The lack of accountability allowed Carte Blanche to continue the illegal implementation. The safety of journalists is crucial to protecting freedom of speech and media freedom. “
A preliminary investigation into Abu Akleh’s death revealed that a heavy counter – fire had taken place about 200 meters (220 yards) from the scene of Jenin’s death, but the Israeli military said it could not confirm whether he had been shot or killed. Army. Palestinian warriors.
The military said in a statement on Friday that Palestinian gunmen had fired hundreds of rounds at an Israeli military vehicle, some in the direction of Abu Akleh’s stand. Israeli forces have retaliated, and without ballistic analysis it is impossible to determine who was responsible for his death.
Journalists in Abu Akle, including one wounded man, said there were no clashes or fighting fighters nearby when he was killed.
Al Jazeera accused Israel of “murder” and demanded an independent investigation into his death.
Human rights groups say Israel rarely investigates the killings of Palestinians by its security forces and, in rare cases, inflicts generous punishments.
Abu Akle, 51, joined Al Jazeera’s Arabic service in 1997 and gained prominence during the Second Uprising in the early 2000s.