Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid invited the Palestinian Authority Wednesday to join Israel in probing the death of an Al Jazeera journalist during a gun battle between Israeli soldiers and Arab terrorists in Samaria.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, Lapid said he has offered Palestinian Authority officials to take part in a joint investigation of the death of Shireen Abu Aqleh.
“We have offered the Palestinians a joint pathological investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Aqla. Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth. Israel's security forces will continue to operate wherever necessary to prevent terrorism and the murder of Israelis.”
Abu Aqleh died during a firefight early Wednesday morning in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Jenin, when terrorists opened fire on Israeli forces carrying out an arrest operation against wanted terrorists.
The Palestinian Authority outlet WAFA claimed that a second journalist, Ali Samoudi, was reportedly shot in the back and has been hospitalized in stable condition.
The Palestinian Authority and Al Jazeera claimed that the reporters were hit by Israeli gunfire.
The IDF, however, has suggested that the two may have been struck by shots fired by terrorists.
“IDF, Israel Security Agency, and Border Police forces operated recently in the Jenin refugee camp near the village of Burqin, and in a number of other locations across Judea and Samaria, in order to arrest wanted terror suspects,” the IDF said.
“As part of the operations in the Jenin refugee camp, suspects opened massive gunfire at the [Israeli] force, and threw explosive devices. The [Israeli] force responded with gunfire. Hits were confirmed. No Israeli soldiers were wounded.”
“The possibility that journalists may have been struck, possibly by Palestinian terrorist gunfire, is being investigated.”