IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi has issued instructions to investigate the death of Shireen Abu Aqleh, the Al Jazeera reporter who was killed during a firefight between IDF forces and Arab terrorists in the Jenin area Wednesday morning.
The Chief of Staff said: " "IDF units are working around the clock with determination to thwart terrorism and prevent terrorist attacks. This activity takes place wherever required, especially in the area of Jenin which has a high concentration of terrorist activity. During last night's activity, as in many other cases, Palestinian gunmen fired extensively at Israeli forces, recklessly and indiscriminately firing in every direction. Unlike the Palestinians, IDF soldiers open fire in a professional and precise manner."
Kochavi stated that "the reporter was killed in a battle zone. At this stage, it is not possible to determine the source of the gunfire which hit her, and we express our sorrow over her death. In order to get to the truth, we have set up a special task force to clarify all the facts and present them as soon as possible. The soldiers acted under fire and showed courage and determination to protect Israel’s civilians, which we will continue to do so wherever we are required."
The IDF stated that "in response to the terrorist attacks in Israel in recent weeks, the IDF has been conducting counterterrorism activities in various locations in Judea and Samaria, focusing on the Jenin area. This is the area from which the terrorists who carried out the latest attacks in Israel originated."
"As part of the activity, IDF, ISA and Israel Border Police forces operated overnight and this morning in the Jenin Camp in order to apprehend individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist activities.
"Last night, IDF soldiers operated in the area of Jenin to apprehend a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative and search for illegal weapons. Overnight, the security forces apprehended eight suspects and confiscated Carlo submachine guns. The suspects were transferred to security forces for further questioning.
"During the activity, Israeli security forces came under heavy fire from dozens of Palestinian gunmen. The Palestinians also hurled explosive devices at the soldiers, endangering their lives. The soldiers responded with live fire.
"A Palestinian journalist was hit at the time of the activity.
"Since the incident, the IDF has been examining the circumstances leading to the death of the journalist, Ms. Shireen Abu Akleh. The IDF offer to conduct a joint investigation with the Palestinians was not answered. The possibility that Ms. Abu Akleh died as a result of Palestinian gunfire is also being examined in light of extensive footage circulating on social media showing Palestinian gunmen firing recklessly and indiscriminately in every direction.
"The IDF expresses its sorrow over the tragic death of Ms. Abu Akleh and sees great importance in preserving the freedom of the press. With that, we would like to emphasize that caution must also be exercised in the vicinity of terrorist gunfire," the IDF spokesperson said.