Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich Hezki Baruch

The Religious Zionism Party reacted to international outrage over the death of senior Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla during a gunfight between IDF forces and terrorists in Jenin Wednesday morning.

"In recent hours, supporters of terrorism and the extreme left have launched a libelous attack on the IDF and its soldiers, Ra'am (United Arab List) has joined in on these attacks, and Bennett remains silent, refraining from providing support for IDF soldiers who acted heroically under fire to preserve his government's survival," said the party.

"It should be noted unequivocally: even if it turns out that Al Jazeera journalist was accidentally killed by IDF fire, which does not seem likely, the IDF is not to blame. An exchange of fire with dozens of terrorists is [tantamount to a] war and any war has casualties. Arab journalists have long been used to aid the Arab war machine, deliberately interfering with IDF activity and protecting terrorists," continued the statement.

"The best way to deal with the hypocrisy of terrorist supporters that comes to light in moments like these is by standing up for the truth with determination, not apologizing or confusing fact with fiction."

"We offer our unmitigated support for the IDF and its commanders in their fight against terrorism and the defense of the State of Israel and security of its citizens," added Bezalel's Smotrich's party.

According to the Palestinian Authority outlet WAFA, Shireen Abu Aqleh died after being shot in the head during a firefight in Jenin.

A second Al Jazeera reporter, Ali Samoudi, was reportedly shot in the back and has been hospitalized in stable condition.

While the Palestinian Authority and Al Jazeera claimed the reporters were hit by Israeli gunfire, the IDF issued a statement suggesting 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,” said the IDF in a statement.

“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 in the incident."

“The possibility that journalists may have been struck, possibly by Palestinian terrorist gunfire, is being investigated," added the army.

In a tweet, Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said offered PA officials to take part in a joint investigation of the journalist's death.

“We have offered the Palestinians a joint pathological investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Aqlah. 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," wrote Lapid.

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