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UN renews demand for killers of Shireen Abu Akleh to be held to account

Poster placed on London’s Shepherds Bush roundabout calling for justice for Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 16 July 2022 [Hana A/Middle East Monitor]
Poster placed on London’s Shepherds Bush roundabout calling for justice for Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 16 July 2022 [Hana A/Middle East Monitor]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres renewed his demand yesterday for those who killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to be held to account, Anadolu has reported. The demand was explained by the Secretary-General's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, at the UN headquarters in New York.

The Israeli army suggested earlier this week that the Al Jazeera journalist was "probably" killed by "wrong" fire from one of its soldiers. It claimed that there was no need for a criminal investigation.

"The Secretary-General was briefed about the announced results in this regard, and he continues to call for accountability for those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh," said Dujarric. "We reaffirm that journalists must never be a target of violence and that they must be able to carry out their work without harassment, fear or intimidation."

Abu Akleh was killed on 11 May while covering an Israeli army incursion in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said at the time that she was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. Video evidence showed that she was wearing a helmet and vest marked clearly with "Press" at the time of her killing.

When asked about the recent killing of Palestinians in Ramallah and Jenin by Israeli soldiers, Dujarric said, "Losing any soul requires an investigation."

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