A veteran Palestinian American Al Jazeera correspondent who was shot dead while reporting on an Israeli raid in the West Bank as the Israeli military clashed with Palestinian gunmen, was a highly respected and familiar face in the Middle East.
Shireen Abu Akleh's death reverberated across the region and set social media alight. Her unflinching coverage of the harsh realities of Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territories was inextricably linked with her own identity as a Palestinian journalist on the front lines.
Since 1997, the 51-year-old journalist had reported on forced home evictions, the killings of unarmed Palestinian youth, hundreds of Palestinians held without charge in Israeli prisons, and the expansion of Jewish settlements. Her killing on Wednesday underscores the heavy price the conflict continues to exact on Palestinians.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Abu Akleh died of wounds from an Israeli soldier's gunshot while in West Bank.
The broadcaster and two reporters who were with her blamed Israeli forces for her killing on Wednesday. She was one of Al Jazeera's best-known reporters. Israel’s defense minister, Benny Gantz, promised a transparent investigation and said he was in touch with U.S. and Palestinian officials.
The Israeli military initially suggested that Abu Akleh might have been killed by stray fire from Palestinians, but Gantz was more cautious on on Wednesday evening. He asked that Palestinians hand over the bullet that killed her and promised that all parts of the investigation would be made public.