The body of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh arrived at the presidential compound in Ramallah on Thursday, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took part in a memorial ceremony.
“We hold the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for killing her, and they cannot hide the truth with this crime. And this crime should not go unpunished, and we point out that we have refused and rejected the joint investigation with the Israeli authorities because they are the ones who committed the crime,” Abbas said.
The veteran Al Jazeera journalist, one of the satellite channel’s best-known reporters, was shot and killed Wednesday by Israeli forces while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank.
Abu Akleh’s death could draw new scrutiny to Israel’s military justice system, which is being examined as part of a war crimes probe conducted by the International Criminal Court. It also threatened to further strain often-rocky relations between the army and the international media.
Abu Akleh, 51, was a respected and familiar face in the Middle East, known for her coverage on Al Jazeera Arabic of the harsh realities of Israel’s open-ended military occupation of the Palestinian territory, now in its 55th year. She was widely recognized in the West Bank and was also a United States citizen.