The Israeli Army admitted last Monday that it could shoot the murdered Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. However, the troops say they acted correctly when they were shot by Palestinian militants, so they will not open any criminal investigation into his death.
Abu Akleh was assassinated on May 11 in the occupied territory of West Bank. There is “a high possibility” that the reporter “was accidentally hit by Army shots towards suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen,” according to the investigation carried out by the State of Israel.
The testimony of several witnesses present, investigations by some media or images of the verified events contradict the Army’s explanation. These versions do not confirm the presence of Palestinian militiamen or shots fired at the troops at the time the journalist was fatally shot.
Abu Akleh’s family stated that they felt “hurt, frustrated and disappointed” at the Israeli state’s decision not to open any criminal investigation. For its part, the Palestinian National Authority (ANP) reproaches Israel for evading “its responsibility for that assassination.”
US calls Israel to account
The United States asked the State of Israel on Monday to account for the death of the reporter. “We appreciate Israel’s investigation of this tragic accident and we stress again the importance of accountability in this case and that policies and protocols be put in place to prevent similar accidents in the future,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“It is a priority for the United States to mitigate civilian harm caused by military operations,” Price added. The statement also mentioned Shireen Abu Akleh, who had US citizenship. “She was a fearless reporter, whose journalism and her pursuit of the truth earned her the respect of the public around the world,” she commented.
“Our thoughts are with the family of Abu Akleh as mourn this terrible loss and with all the people around the world who for more than two decades have watched Shireen’s news,” the spokesperson said.