Arab nations at UN seek investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh 'assassination' in West Bank
Arab countries at the United Nations called Wednesday for an independent, international probe into the 'assassination' of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead by Israeli forces while covering a raid in the occupied West Bank.
The pan-Arab broadcaster the 51-year-old worked for said that Israeli forces deliberately shot her and "in cold blood". Witnesses said she was "murdered" by Israeli snipers.
"The Arab group in New York adopted a statement condemning in the strongest possible term this criminal act by the Israeli occupying authorities and demanding an international independent investigation on this crime," said the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour.
He said it was necessary "to take those who are responsible for this crime to face the accountability regarding this crime".
Mansour was clearly upset as he spoke. He knew Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American, personally.
The demand for an independent international probe was contained in three identical letters sent to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN Security Council and the president of the General Assembly, Mansour said.
The appeal is part of a chorus of calls for a probe into the killing of Abu Akleh.
The Palestinian Authority called Abu Akleh's killing an "execution," and part of an Israeli effort to obscure the "truth" about its occupation of the West Bank.
Israeli forces are known to target journalists covering Israeli abuses in the occupied West Bank.