UN demands probe into killing of Al Jazeera journalist

Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead as she covered an Israeli army raid.

A Palestinian journalist protests the death of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead while covering an Israeli army raid in Jenin, in the West Bank biblical city of Bethlehem on May 11, 2022. Picture: Hazem Bader / AFP.

GENEVA - The UN human rights office on Wednesday said it was "appalled" at the killing of a veteran Al Jazeera reporter in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and demanded a transparent investigation.

Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was shot dead as she covered an Israeli army raid.

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet's office said it was on the ground and trying to verify the facts.

"We are appalled at the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin, Palestine," UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet's office said on Twitter.

"Our office is on the ground verifying the facts.

"We urge an independent, transparent investigation into her killing. Impunity must end."

The Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera charged that Israeli forces deliberately and "in cold blood" shot Abu Akleh in the head during the unrest in the Jenin refugee camp earlier on Wednesday.

Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it was "likely" that "armed Palestinians, who were indiscriminately firing at the time, were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist".

The European Union demanded an independent investigation, while the United States said the fatal shooting must be "investigated transparently".