Military spokesperson says too soon to say who is responsible for reporter's death

Ran Kochav says Palestinians shot indiscriminately in Jenin camp and noted that they had succeeded in hitting someone although no IDF troops were hurt in exchange of fire, but adds it is possible IDF forces mistakenly shot reporter

Alexandra Lukash|
IDF spokesperson Ran Kochav says it is too soon to know who shot Al Jazeera journalist in Jenin on Wednesday.
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  • Shareen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian and an American citizen, was killed after she was shot in the head in the Jenin refugee camp during exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen.
    2 View gallery
    שירין אבו עאקלה
    שירין אבו עאקלה
    Body of slain journalist in Jenin, Shireen Abu Akleh
    (Photo: AFP)
    "IDF forces entered the Jenin refugee camp early in the morning and encountered gunfire from dozens of local Palestinians," Kochav said. "We are precise in our gunfire and I am happy to say there were no casualties to our forces."
    Palestinian gunman in Jenin refugee camp
    But the military spokesperson could not say definitely, that the reporter was killed from Palestinian fire.
    "I want to be very careful and credible," he said. "We are investigating the events and reviewing the angles of fire. She may have been shot by Palestinians. She was very close to them. But if soldiers were responsible, we will have to apologize if a mistake was made," he said.
    Al Jazeera Journalist on the ground after being shot in Jenin
    According to Kochav, video of the tragic shooting shows a Palestinian gunman shooting down an ally while another person is heard speaking in Arabic and saying someone was hit, but none of the troops were hurt.
    "Abu Akleh was wearing a flack jacket so I think she was the person that the Palestinians referred to, but I cannot be 100% sure," he said adding that an offer of a joint investigation to be held by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, was rejected by the PA.
    "I am not sure we will be able to definitively know the truth without their cooperation," he said.
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for blaming Israel for the reporter's death in an unsubstantiated claim.
    "We have information indicating she may have been shot by the Palestinian gunmen who were shooting indiscriminately," Bennett said.
    The Foreign Ministry also posted the video clip from Jenin showing a local gunman shooting down the alley.
    The ministry repeated the claim that although a Palestinian was heard shouting that the gunfire hit someone who was on the ground, no soldiers were hurt in the exchange of fire, lending to the possibility that the reporter was killed by Palestinians.
    Shireen Abu Akleh 51, a seasoned reporter with the Al Jazeera network, was killed on Wednesday, in an exchange of fire when IDF troops entered the Jenin refugee camp.
    2 View gallery
    ביתה של  שירין אבו עאקלה בבית חנינא, מזרח ירושלים
    ביתה של  שירין אבו עאקלה בבית חנינא, מזרח ירושלים
    Mourners gather at the Jerusalem home of Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot dead in Jenin on Wednesday
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    The network says she was shot by Israeli troops. The IDF said they were investigating the incident.
    Abu Akleh was reportedly shot in the head and taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
    She was a native of Jerusalem, and had been covering Israel and the West Bank for Qatar based news organization for the past two decades.
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