The UN Security Council has condemned the killing of veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aqla and called for an immediate probe into her death.
The move followed outcry on Friday after Israeli police hit mourners at Abu Aqla’s funeral. Police said they acted after being pelted with stones.
Abu Aqla, 51, was shot dead while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
Her death has caused a surge of anger.
In a statement released on Friday, the Security Council said its members called for “an immediate, thorough, transparent, and fair and impartial investigation into the killing, and stressed the need to ensure accountability.”
Though the statement showed a rare case of Security Council unity on an issue related to Israel, reports quoting diplomatic sources said there were difficult negotiations over the text’s contents.
China succeeded in pushing the US to get rid of paragraphs denouncing abuses committed against the media globally, defending their freedom and urging their protection while covering military operations, news agency AFP reported. Instead the text said that “journalists should be protected as civilians.”
During Abu Aqla’s funeral on Friday, her coffin almost fell as police, some using batons, waded into a crowd of Palestinians gathered around it.
Footage showed a standoff between police and Palestinians gathered around the coffin in a hospital compound, before officers pushed the crowd back, with some beating and kicking mourners. Police said officers “were forced to use riot dispersal means”.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “deeply disturbed” by the confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians and the behaviour of some police.
Mr Guterres also said he was “moved by the outpouring of sympathy from the thousands of Palestinian mourners over the past two days,” which he said was a “testament” to Abu Aqla’s work and life.
Abu Aqla, a 51-year-old Palestinian American, was a veteran correspondent for Al Jazeera’s Arabic news channel and had reported on the Israel-Palestinian conflict for two decades.
A preliminary report by the Palestinian public prosecution service said the sole source of gunfire that killed the journalist on Wednesday was from Israeli forces, which were conducting a raid in the city of Jenin.
Palestinian authorities have already described her death as an assassination by Israel, which for its part has said that it remains unclear whether she died from Israeli or Palestinian fire.
An Israeli military interim report on Thursday said the fatal shot could have come from “massive fire from Palestinian gunmen”, or possibly from “a few bullets” fired by a soldier “at a terrorist who was firing at his vehicle”.
Source: BBC News