Ned Price
Ned PriceREUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/POOL/File Photo

US State Department spokesman Ned Price condemned the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, who was killed during a firefight between IDF forces and Arab terrorists in the Jenin area Wednesday morning, and demanded an “immediate and thorough” investigation into her death.

“We are heartbroken by and strongly condemn the killing. Those responsible must be held accountable,” Price tweeted.

“Her death is an affront to media freedom everywhere,” he added.

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.

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides wrote that 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.