A journalist with Al Jazeera has been shot dead while she was covering a raid by Israeli troops in the West Bank's refugee camp.

The Qatar-based TV channel said Israeli forces shot Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it was "likely" that Palestinian gunfire killed her.

Ms Abu Akleh, a Palestinian Christian who also held US citizenship, was a prominent figure in the channel's Arabic news service.

Another Al Jazeera journalist, producer Ali al-Samudi, was wounded in the incident, the broadcaster added.

An AFP photographer at the scene said Ms Abu Akleh was wearing a press flak jacket when she was shot.

The Israeli army confirmed it had conducted an operation in Jenin refugee camp early this morning, but denied it had deliberately targeted a reporter.

The army said there was an exchange of fire between suspects and security forces and that it was "investigating the event and looking into the possibility that journalists were hit by the Palestinian gunmen".

"The (army) of course does not aim at journalists," a military official told AFP.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Twitter that Israel was seeking a "joint pathological investigation into the sad death" of the journalist.

"Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth," Mr Lapid added.

The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, tweeted that he was "very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh" and called for "a thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death".

The Israeli Prime Minister said Palestinian gunmen in the camp were likely responsible for Ms Abu Akleh's death.

"According to the information we've gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians - who were indiscriminately firing at the time - were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist," Mr Bennett said in a statement.

The Taoiseach has also condemned the killing of Ms Abu Akleh.

Micheál Martin told the Dáil that "media freedom" and "the safety of journalists must be protected", and State forces have a duty in this regard.

He offered his condolences to her family after the "shocking" killing, and said the Government is seeking an independent investigation and will pursue this "through all fora".

The wounded Al Jazeera producer, Mr Samudi, said there were no Palestinian fighters in the area where Ms Abu Aqleh was shot.

"If there were resistance fighters, we would not have gone into the area," he said in testimony posted online, stating that the Israelis "fired towards us".

In recent weeks, the army has stepped up operations in Jenin, a historic flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Several of the assailants blamed for deadly attacks on Israelis in recent weeks were from the area.

Mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh

The army said that during its operation in the camp, "massive fire was shot toward Israeli forces by tens of armed Palestinian gunmen".

People in the camp "also hurled explosive devices toward the soldiers, endangering their lives. The soldiers responded with fire toward the sources of the fire and explosive devices. Hits were identified."

The fatal shooting comes nearly a year after an Israeli air strike destroyed a Gaza building that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and news agency AP.

Israel has said the building also hosted offices for key members of the Hamas Islamist group, which controls the Israeli-blockaded Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority said the killing was part of an Israeli effort to obscure the "truth" about its occupation of the West Bank.

Qatar's assistant foreign minister Lolwah Al Khater said Israeli troops had killed Ms Abu Akleh "by shooting her in the face" in what she called an act of "state sponsored Israeli terrorism".

Tension has risen in recent months as Israel has grappled with a wave of attacks.