Journalists who accompanied Al-Jazeera Palestinian correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, recounted the details of the Israeli occupation forces’ targeting of her, earlier on Wednesday, while attempting to cover the storming of the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Journalist Shaza Hanaisheh said that “she was very close to Shireen when she dropped on the ground after being shot.”
She added: “We all wore a protective shield and helmets on our heads for the occupation army to recognise us, and there were no clashes at all.”
They heard the sound of gunfire, “and a bullet had hit fellow journalist Ali Samoudi, who fell on the ground. Shireen started calling him, then she suddenly fell on her face without moving.”
“We were unable to approach Shireen, as the occupation soldiers did not stop shooting at journalists, thus confirming their deliberate targeting of press crews, and targeting Shireen directly”, Hanaisheh stressed.
She added, “The Israeli forces prevented us from helping Shireen, until a young man came from afar and carried her to a nearby car.”
Producer Ali Samoudi, who was injured prior to the targeting of Shireen Abu Akleh, said: “We (the Al-Jazeera crew) went to the city of Jenin on May 6, 2022, after receiving news of the Israeli army’s intention to storm the camp, and since then we have been accompanied by four colleagues from Al Jazeera, including Shireen Abu Akleh, to record the events that were taking place in the camp.”
He added: “On Wednesday, at 6AM, we received news that Israeli forces entered the camp from the western region. As soon as we arrived, we wore the shield and helmet bearing the press logo in both Arabic and English.”
Samoudi continued: “We got out of the car, and walked on foot in the middle of the main street for 20 minutes, until the Israeli soldiers clearly saw us. They were 500 meters away from the place where we were preparing to broadcast a live broadcast of the events.”
He continued: “A few minutes later, we heard the sound of bullets being shot from the occupation forces towards us. Palestinian citizens called out to us to “get down on the ground, snipers are targeting you.”
“I was shot in the lower back, and Shireen screamed, “Ali got injured”. A few seconds later, Shireen fell to the ground with blood covering her face. A colleague came and dragged us to the wall of the cemetery to protect us from the shooting, which continued for more than 10 minutes”, Samoudi added.
He emphasised that “there were no resistance fighters, gunmen, or stone-throwers, as we were in an open area.”
He stressed that the occupation forces did not ask them to leave the place or say that it was a closed military area.
He stressed, “We followed the instructions of the occupation authorities, and we had their approval on our movements, however after they saw us, they started shooting and killing us.”
Journalist Mujahid Al-Saadi, who was close to Abu Aqila during the shooting, said that “Shireen was shot under the ear,” which confirms that they were targetting her, and journalists in general.”
Shireen Abu Akleh was one of the first field correspondents for Al-Jazeera TV, and she remained for a quarter of a century covering wars, attacks and violations by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.