Shireen Abu Akleh


May 17, 2022

Shireen Abu Akleh (Arabic شيرين أبو عاقلة, DMG Šīrīn Abū ʿĀqila; also Shirin Abu Akle; born January 3, 1971 in Jerusalem, † May 11, 2022 in Jenin) was a Palestinian-American journalist. She worked as a reporter for the Arabic-language channel Al Jazeera for 25 years before she was shot dead while covering an Israeli army operation in Jenin, West Bank, on May 11, 2022. Palestinians and Israelis blame each other for their deaths.

Early life and education

Abu Akleh was born in Jerusalem in 1971. Her family belongs to the Arab-Christian minority. She attended secondary school in Beit Hanina and then initially studied architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. She later transferred to Yarmuk University in Jordan, where she earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism. After graduating, Abu Akleh returned to the Palestinian Authority.


Abu Akleh has worked as a journalist for Radio Monte Carlo and Voice of Palestine, and has worked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA), the Amman Satellite Channel, and the Palestinian Advancement Initiative founded by Hanan Ashrawi in 1998 of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH). She worked as a journalist for the Al Jazeera news channel from 1997 until her death and became known as a reporter for the Arabic-language programme. According to Inga Rogg, the Israel correspondent for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Abu Akleh was the most famous Palestinian journalist in the conflict region. The American news channel CNN counted her among the "most important journalists in the Arab world". She lived and worked in East Jerusalem and reported on important regional events. Among other things, she reported on the Second Intifada, the invasion of the Israeli military into the refugee camp in Jenin in 2002, the death of Yasser Arafat and Israeli politics.


The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced on May 11, 2022 that Abu Akleh was shot dead while reporting on an operation by the Israeli military in a refugee camp in Jenin. The Israeli army gave little information about the background of this operation; It is assumed that there is a connection with terrorist attacks in April and May 2022, which were carried out by perpetrators from the Jenin area. Abu Akleh last contacted her office at 6:13 a.m. and said she was on her way to Jenin. Abu Akleh wore a helmet and a flak jacket which identified her as a representative of the press. She was shot in the head and taken to Ibn Sina Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7.15am. It is not yet clear which side is responsible.Ali al-Samoudi, a journalist with Al-Quds newspaper, was shot in the back in the incident; however, he survived. Two other Palestinians were injured and taken to a hospital.

Palestinian investigations

The autopsy of Shireen Abu Akleh was carried out in the Pathological Institute of the University of Nablus. The fatal bullet came from a 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. This type of ammunition is used by both Palestinians and Israeli units. Palestinian investigators said in a preliminary statement that it was impossible to determine whether the shot was fired by an Israeli soldier or a Palestinian. However, Abu Akleh was not shot dead at close range. The Palestinian investigators reject a joint investigation with the Israeli authorities; According to Israeli press reports, the Ve