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Palestinians mourn slain Al Jazeera journalist, blame Israel

Christian priests pray over the body of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, surrounded by other journalists, in the West Bank town of Jenin, Wedn...
An undated photo released bu the Al Jazeera network shows Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network. Abu Akle. the well-known Palestinian...
Palestinian militants carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, in the West Bank town of Jenin, Wednesday, May 11, 202...
Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...
Mourners chant slogans while carrying the body of Mahmoud Aram, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday when he tried to cross the border ...
Relatives attend the funeral of Palestinian Mahmoud Aram, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday when he tried to cross the border into I...
In this undated photo provided by Al Jazeera Media Network, Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, stands next to a TV camera in an a...
Journalists and medics wheel the body of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, into the morgue inside the Hospital in the West Bank ...
Slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is carried by a Palestinian honour guard in the West Bank city of Nablus, Wednesday, May 11, 202...
A priest prays over the body of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank city of Nablus, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. She wa...
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...
Lebanese journalists hold portraits of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and a placard with Arabic words read:"Occupation will not make us silen...
A Lebanese journalist holds a portrait of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a protest in front of United Nations headquarters in Beirut, ...
Palestinian children carry light candles and pictures of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to condemn her killing, in front of the office...
Protesters hold photos of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh as they shout at Israeli border policemen in Haifa, Israel, Wednesday, May 11,...
Palestinian holds a light candle and a picture of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to condemn her killing, in front of the office of Al ...
Palestinian children carry light candles and pictures of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to condemn her killing, in front of the office...
A girl waves the Palestinian flag outside of the family home of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in east Jerusalem, Wednesday, Ma...
In this undated photo provided by Al Jazeera Media Network, Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, stands in an area where the Dome o...
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...
Palestinian mourners carry the body of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh toward the Al Jazeera office for her fellow journalists to pay ...
Palestinian mourners carry the body of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh toward the Al Jazeera office for her fellow journalists to pay ...
Palestinians surround the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as it is brought to the news channel's offi...
The Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's office in the West Bank city of R...
Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...
Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...
Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...
Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the offices of the n...
Protesters wave Palestinian flags outside of the family home of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in east Jerusalem, Wednesday, Ma...
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lays a wreath of flowers on the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday...
Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh carry her coffin to a hospital in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of S...
Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh comfort each other in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarra...
Palestinian friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in th...
A Palestinian honor guard carry the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid...
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lays a wreath of flowers on the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday...
Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh comfort each other in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarra...
Palestinian friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in th...
A Palestinian honor guard carry the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid...
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talks in front of mourners after he laid a wreath of flowers on the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Ab...
A Palestinian honor guard carry the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid...
Palestinian mourners follow the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in t...
Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh carry her coffin to a hospital in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of ...
Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh carry her coffin to a hospital in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of ...

Christian priests pray over the body of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, surrounded by other journalists, in the West Bank town of Jenin, Wedn...

An undated photo released bu the Al Jazeera network shows Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network. Abu Akle. the well-known Palestinian...

Palestinian militants carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, in the West Bank town of Jenin, Wednesday, May 11, 202...

Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...

Mourners chant slogans while carrying the body of Mahmoud Aram, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday when he tried to cross the border ...

Relatives attend the funeral of Palestinian Mahmoud Aram, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday when he tried to cross the border into I...

In this undated photo provided by Al Jazeera Media Network, Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, stands next to a TV camera in an a...

Journalists and medics wheel the body of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, into the morgue inside the Hospital in the West Bank ...

Slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is carried by a Palestinian honour guard in the West Bank city of Nablus, Wednesday, May 11, 202...

A priest prays over the body of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank city of Nablus, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. She wa...

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...

Lebanese journalists hold portraits of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and a placard with Arabic words read:"Occupation will not make us silen...

A Lebanese journalist holds a portrait of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a protest in front of United Nations headquarters in Beirut, ...

Palestinian children carry light candles and pictures of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to condemn her killing, in front of the office...

Protesters hold photos of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh as they shout at Israeli border policemen in Haifa, Israel, Wednesday, May 11,...

Palestinian holds a light candle and a picture of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to condemn her killing, in front of the office of Al ...

Palestinian children carry light candles and pictures of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to condemn her killing, in front of the office...

A girl waves the Palestinian flag outside of the family home of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in east Jerusalem, Wednesday, Ma...

In this undated photo provided by Al Jazeera Media Network, Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera network, stands in an area where the Dome o...

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West...

Palestinian mourners carry the body of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh toward the Al Jazeera office for her fellow journalists to pay ...

Palestinian mourners carry the body of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh toward the Al Jazeera office for her fellow journalists to pay ...

Palestinians surround the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as it is brought to the news channel's offi...

The Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's office in the West Bank city of R...

Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...

Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...

Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the news channel's o...

Colleagues and friends react as the Palestinian flag-draped body of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is brought to the offices of the n...

Protesters wave Palestinian flags outside of the family home of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in east Jerusalem, Wednesday, Ma...

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lays a wreath of flowers on the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday...

Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh carry her coffin to a hospital in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of S...

Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh comfort each other in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarra...

Palestinian friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in th...

A Palestinian honor guard carry the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid...

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lays a wreath of flowers on the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday...

Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh comfort each other in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarra...

Palestinian friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in th...

A Palestinian honor guard carry the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid...

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talks in front of mourners after he laid a wreath of flowers on the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Ab...

A Palestinian honor guard carry the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid...

Palestinian mourners follow the body of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in t...

Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh carry her coffin to a hospital in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of ...

Family, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh carry her coffin to a hospital in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of ...

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Thousands gathered to mourn a slain Al Jazeera journalist in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday, as the head of the Palestinian Authority blamed Israel for her death and rejected Israeli calls for a joint investigation.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter who covered the Mideast conflict for more than 25 years, was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank town of Jenin. Journalists who were with her, including one who was shot and wounded, said Israeli forces fired upon them even though they were clearly identifiable as reporters.

Israel says it is investigating the incident. It initially suggested she might have been shot by Palestinian militants, without providing evidence, but has since backtracked. Israel is calling for a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank and cooperates with it on security.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas angrily rejected that proposal, saying “we hold the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for killing her.”

"They cannot hide the truth with this crime,” Abbas said in an address as her body lay in state with a Palestinian flag draped over it in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered.

"They are the ones who committed the crime, and because we do not trust them, we will immediately go to the International Criminal Court,” Abbas said.

The ICC launched an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes over a year ago. Israel has rejected that probe as being biased against it.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior aide to Abbas, said that the Palestinians would conduct their own independent probe and convey the results "with high transparency.” He rejected an Israeli request to conduct its own ballistic analysis on the bullet.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused the Palestinians of denying Israel “access to the basic findings required to get to the truth.” He called on the Palestinian Authority to not take “any steps to disrupt the investigation or to contaminate the investigation process.”

Abu Akleh was killed while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin, which has emerged as a militant bastion in recent weeks as Palestinians have carried out a series of deadly attacks and Israel has launched military raids across the occupied West Bank.

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera accused Israel of deliberately killing her and vowed to take legal action. Reporters who were with her said there were no Palestinian militants in the area.

Israeli officials initially suggested Abu Akleh was struck by militant fire and released a video showing gunmen firing at Israeli forces in a narrow alley inside the Jenin refugee camp. They later backtracked after an Israeli human rights group released its own video showing the site of the shooting was several hundred meters away from where Abu Akleh was killed.

Her death was met with an outpouring of grief across the Arab world. The 51-year-old was well-known as a veteran on-air correspondent for Al Jazeera's Arabic-language channel. Her reporting shed light on the harsh realities of Israeli military rule, which is well into its sixth decade with no end in sight. She was also a U.S. citizen.

Her body was to be brought to Jerusalem, where she was born, for burial on Friday.

The killing sparked international condemnation and widespread calls for accountability. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Gutteres called for an “an independent and transparent investigation” to ensure those responsible are held to account.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday promised such an inquiry, saying he was in touch with U.S. and Palestinian officials and hoped for cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We are trying to figure out exactly what happened,” he said. “I don’t have final conclusions.”

Asked about the investigation and Israel’s offer for the Palestinians to participate, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that U.S. officials “stand ready to assist either party in any way that we can.”

”Neither side has asked for our assistance at this time and such a request would be required in order for us to do so,” she said.

Abu Akleh’s death could draw new scrutiny of Israel’s military justice system, which is being examined as part of the ICC probe. It also threatened to further strain often rocky relations between the army and the international media.

Rights groups say Israel rarely follows through on investigations of deadly encounters with Palestinians, and that when it does, it often hands down lenient punishments.

Her death comes amid a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has been fueled by tensions at a key Jerusalem holy site.

At least 18 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks in recent weeks, as well as more than 30 Palestinians, most of them involved in attacks or clashes with Israeli forces. Among the slain Palestinians were an unarmed woman and at least two apparent passersby, fueling criticism that Israel often uses excessive force.

___

Krauss reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writer Ilan Ben Zion in Jerusalem contributed.