US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Richard Nides
US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Richard NidesOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The Al Jazeera reporter killed during a gun battle in Jenin early Wednesday morning was an American citizen, US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides said Wednesday.

In a tweet released hours after her death Wednesday morning, Nides wrote that Shireen Abu Aqleh held American citizenship, and called for a “thorough investigation” into her death.

“Very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh of AJArabic/AJEnglish. I encourage a thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death and the injury of at least one other journalist today in Jenin.”

Abu Aqleh, a correspondent for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network, died after suffering a gunshot wound to the head Wednesday morning, after Arab terrorists in northern Samaria opened fire on IDF soldiers, sparking a gun battle in the city of Jenin.

A second Al Jazeera reporter, Ali Samoudi, was 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 Wednesday 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,” 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.”

Israel has pointed to video footage taken by terrorists at the scene apparently celebrating a person being hit by their gunfire, which they mistook for an Israeli soldier.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry offered the Palestinian Authority to conduct a joint probe of Abu Aqleh’s death.