AMMAN: Jordanian journalists staged a sit-in on Wednesday to protest the “assassination” of Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin earlier that day.
The journalists were joined by lawmakers, and colleagues from Arab and foreign media organizations working in Jordan.
The journalists said they hold Israel accountable for the killing of Abu Akleh, calling for an international probe into what they described as a crime.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Abu Akleh was shot early on Wednesday while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin and died soon after.
The ministry added that a Palestinian journalist working for the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper was stable after being wounded during the same raid.
The Jordanian Press Association (JPA) condemned the “assassination” of Abu Akleh, while Al-Jazeera said that it would “sue Israel at the International Criminal Court for the murder of Abu Akleh.”
Al-Jazeera bureau chief Hassan Shoubaki said Abu Akleh was directly targeted by Israeli forces and was hit in the head by a live bullet, describing the killing of the veteran reporter as a “premeditated and first-degree crime.”
In a statement, Al-Jazeera accused the Israeli authorities of a “blatant murder, violating international laws and norms.”
JPA council member Khaled Qudah described Israel as the “enemy of the truth,” saying that Israeli authorities have long targeted journalists and killed many of them.
“The killing of Abu Akleh was a crime, and Israel has to be sued for this,” Qudah said.
The founder and director of the Amman-based Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists, Nidal Mansour, said, “Israeli occupation troops have killed more than 1,000 journalists in Palestinian Territories and injured more than 7,000.”
Mansour also said Israel should be sued for its violations of human rights and press freedoms.
The Jordanian government also denounced the “assassination” of Abu Akleh, describing the killing of a journalist wearing a press vest as a “blatant violation of international law.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli military said its forces came under attack with heavy gunfire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and that they fired back. It said it is “investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by Palestinian gunmen.”