Israel concedes soldier likely shot Al Jazeera journalist

(Photo: AFP)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Israeli occupation forces conceded for the first time Monday that there was a “high possibility” that an Israeli solider shot and killed Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.اضافة اعلان

The acknowledgement comes months after Israel’s initial claim that Palestinian fighters could have killed Abu Akleh. However, Israel later backtracked and said it could not rule out the possibility that an Israeli soldier had fired the shot.

“Our conclusion is that it’s not possible to determine unequivocally which gunfire killed her, but there’s a higher probability that she was hit by an errant shot of an IDF soldier who did not identify her as a journalist,” a senior Israeli military officer said.

Abu Akleh was wearing a bulletproof vest marked “Press” and a helmet when she was shot in the head during a raid by Israeli occupation forces in Jenin on May 11.

The Abu Akleh family on Monday said that Israel had “refused to take responsibility for the murder” of the journalist, in a press statement issued in the wake of the Israeli investigation report.

“We remain deeply hurt, frustrated, and disappointed,” the family said, calling for a “credible” US investigation.

The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of intentionally killing the reporter in the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern West Bank.

‘Call for accountability’

A UN investigation concluded in June that there was “no evidence of activity by armed Palestinians close by” when Abu Akleh was shot.

The US on July 4 said she was likely shot by Israeli fire but that there was no evidence her killing was intentional and that the bullet was too damaged for a conclusive finding.

The US statement outraged Abu Akleh’s family and Palestinian leaders who accused Washington of failing to seek accountability from Israel over the killing of the journalist, who also held US citizenship.

“We are continuing to call for accountability and for justice for Shireen,” Lina Abu Akleh, the journalist’s niece, said in Washington after meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In May, Israeli media reported that the military had no plans to launch a criminal investigation, Al Jazeera reported.

Read more Region and World
Jordan News