Most Muslim Countries Refrain from Accusing Israel in Reporter’s Death

By Hamodia Staff

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Saudi King Salman (Presidency Press Service/Pool Photo via AP,)

YERUSHALAYIM – Most Muslim countries have been notably circumspect in their comments on the killing of the Al Jazeera reporter, deploring the incident but not blaming Israel directly, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

Turkey, which in the past has been among the loudest of Israel’s accusers of oppression of the Palestinians, was muted in its reaction.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqla’s killing and offer my condolences to her family and colleagues,” tweeted Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan’s communications director and member of Turkey’s National Security Council.

“It is unacceptable for journalists, who serve the public and the truth, to be targeted under any circumstances,” he continued. “I call for a proper, transparent, and swift investigation into this incident and for those responsible to be brought to justice.”

The relatively mild comment comes amid an effort at rapprochement with Israel, and  Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is expected to visit Yerushalayim in the coming weeks.

A statement from Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry similarly avoided mentioning Israel by name. The ministry said it “strongly condemns the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, which took place near the Jenin refugee camp in the Palestinian territories while she was on duty, as it is a violation of the rules and principles of the  international humanitarian law.”

The kingdom also demanded an “immediate, comprehensive investigation of the crime and to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Jordan called it “a horrific crime,” but also did not cast blame on Israel.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia issued no comment. For its part, Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the response from neighboring states.

Much the same can be said of the media coverage. “The media coverage is relatively calm,” Moshe Albo, modern Middle East historian at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Reichman University in Herzliya, told The Times of Israel. “It’s not over the top. Same in Egypt.”

Al Jazeera itself, however, accused Israeli soldiers of “deliberately targeting and killing” Abu Akleh “in cold blood.”

Qatar and Kuwait stood out for their harsh words. Al Jazeera network’s parent company is headquartered in Doha, and its foreign ministry condemned “in the strongest terms the Israeli occupation forces’ assassination” of the Al Jazeera journalist.

Qatar and Israel do not have diplomatic relations.

Kuwait, which also does not recognize Israel, similarly condemned “the Israeli occupiers’ assassination” of Abu Akleh.

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