The Council also calls for an immediate and impartial investigation into the death of the Al Jazeera journalist who was shot earlier this week.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously condemned the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank, according to diplomats.

The statement, a rare case of Security Council unity on an issue related to Israel, also called for “an immediate, thorough, transparent and impartial investigation” into his death.

The UN Human Rights Office has also called for a full and independent investigation into the killing, saying it could amount to a war crime.

According to diplomats who spoke to the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity, negotiations in the Security Council on Friday were particularly arduous.

China successfully pressured the United States to remove paragraphs condemning abuses committed against the media around the world, defending their freedom and urging their protection while covering military operations, according to diplomatic sources and different versions of the statement obtained by AFP during the discussions.

The final text said that “journalists must be protected as civilians.”

Abu Akleh, an internationally respected veteran Al Jazeera journalist, was shot by Israeli armed forces while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. She was wearing a helmet and a vest that clearly identified her as a journalist.

The Security Council statement did not mention the violence during Friday’s funeral for Abu Akleh.

Television footage showed pallbearers struggling to prevent Abu Akleh’s coffin from falling to the ground as Israeli policemen charged with batons and snatched Palestinian flags from mourners.

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The attacks were condemned by Al Jazeera as “a scene that violates all international norms and laws.”

The Israeli army said its initial investigation into Abu Akleh’s death showed that heavy gunfire was taking place in Jenin approximately 200 meters (about 220 yards) from where he died, but that it was unable to determine whether he was shot by Israeli forces. or not. Palestinian fighters.

In a statement issued on Friday, the army said Palestinian gunmen recklessly fired hundreds of rounds at an Israeli military vehicle, some in the direction of where Abu Akleh was standing. He said that the Israeli forces returned fire and that, without doing a ballistic analysis, they were unable to determine who was responsible for his death.

Reporters who were with Abu Akleh, including one who was wounded by a gunshot, said there was no fighting or combatants in the immediate area when she was killed.

Al Jazeera has accused Israel of “flagrant murder” and has called for an independent investigation into his death.

UN experts noted that Abu Akleh’s killing came amid increased violence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza in recent years.

Last year, according to the statement, marked the highest number of Palestinian deaths as a result of clashes with Israelis since 2014. It also came amid a high rate of attacks on Palestinian journalists.

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