Several Palestinian leaders, foreign diplomats and the public attended an official ceremony in Ramallah, where the Palestinian National Authority’s West Bank headquarters is located and from which a Palestinian-flagged coffin was taken.
The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, has rejected Israeli requests for a joint investigation into the death of an Al Jazeera journalist in the West Bank city of Jenin in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory since 1967.
Al Jazeera, the Palestinian Authority and the Arab countries at the UN accused the Israeli army of dying.
The journalist died in a refugee camp in Jenin, a base for Palestinian armed groups in the north of the West Bank, where the perpetrators of the recent Israeli attacks come from. The Israeli military announced on Wednesday an operation to arrest suspected Palestinians.
Initially, Israel suggested that the reporter “probably” died as a result of the shots of Palestinian fighters, but hours later, Israeli authorities said they could not rule out the possibility that their soldiers fired the shot.
“We hold the Israeli occupying authorities fully responsible for the death,” Abbas declared at the ceremony, adding that he refused a joint investigation because “the Israeli authorities committed the crime,” saying he did not trust them.
The reporter, a 51-year-old Palestinian Christian who also had U.S. citizenship, wore a bulletproof vest with the word “Press,” and a reporter’s helmet to cover the operation.
“Sister of All Palestinians”
The news of his death caused great uproar in the Palestinian territories and the Arab world – where his reports were widely followed for more than two decades – in Europe and the United States.
Many people laid flowers at the scene and protests were recorded across the Palestinian territory. Shireen “was the sister of all Palestinians,” her brother Antun Abu Akleh told AFP on Wednesday.
“The event cannot be silenced. Thank God the Palestinians supported him and us, he will not be forgotten,” he added. The funeral will be held on Friday at a church in Jerusalem, the city where he grew up.
Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of killing his most famous journalist “intentionally” and “cold-bloodedly”.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Palestinian “forensic evidence,” including a bullet killed by a journalist, was needed for a “full” investigation.
Cogat, a unit in Israel’s defense ministry that oversees civilian activities in the Palestinian territories, asked Palestinians “a bullet found in the body of Shireen Abu Akleh so that the military police’s criminal investigation department can conduct a criminal investigation and trace the source of the shots,” a security source told AFP.
According to Rayyan Ali, a Palestinian doctor who examined the body, the reporter died from a bullet that hit him in the head at “high speed.”
Hussein al-Sheikh, the Palestinian Authority’s secretary for civil affairs, stressed that “all evidence, testimony and testimony confirms the assassination of Israeli special forces.”
“Israel asked for a joint investigation and for us to hand over the bullet that killed the journalist, but we refused. The investigation must be completely independent,” Al Sheikh said.
Israel also offered to the Palestinian and U.S. authorities to be present at the bullet analysis and, where possible, to identify the weapon from which it originated.
The U.S. government has called for “transparent” research, preferably jointly between Israelis and Palestinians, while the UN and the European Union have called for “independent” research.
Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamas Al-Thani accused Israel of killing a journalist during a visit to Tehran on Thursday. “The perpetrators of this horrific crime must be brought to justice,” he declared.
On the other hand, Israel today approved a plan to build 4,427 houses for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli NGO Peace Now reports. International law considers the colonization of Israel illegal.