Qatar emir blames Israel over veteran journalist’s death

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The emir of Qatar has accused the Israeli security forces of killing Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead on Wednesday (13 May) during a raid in a Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said Ms. Abu Akleh was “killed by the Israeli occupation forces”, at a joint news conference in Teheran on Thursday with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi.

“We must hold the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable,” the Qatari leader added.

Ms. Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old Palestinian-American, was shot as she covered the Israeli military operation in the Jenin refugee camp.

The Qatar-based pan-Arab television channel charged that the Israeli forces had killed her deliberately “in cold blood”.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had said on Wednesday it was “likely” that Ms. Abu Akleh was killed by stray Palestinian gunfire, but Defence Minister Benny Gantz later conceded it could have been “the Palestinians who shot her” or fire from “our side”.

Calls have mounted around the world for an independent investigation into the shooting.

But the Palestinians have turned down an Israeli offer to carry out a joint probe, saying they would investigate alone and share their findings.

The Iranian President also implicated Israel, the sworn enemy of the Islamic republic.

“We are certain that these crimes cannot bring security to the Zionist regime. To the contrary, they will only increase popular anger” towards Israel, Mr. Raisi said. (Source: The Straits Times)

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