Israeli military: ‘high probability’ soldier kills al-Jazeera reporter Shirin Abu Akleh

This is the closest Israel has come to taking responsibility for the shooting of al-Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Akleh

This is the closest Israel has come to accepting responsibility for the shooting. al Jazeera Journalist Shirin Abu Akleho

The Israeli military on Monday announced the long-awaited results of its investigation into the deadly shooting al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu AklehoIt said there was a “high probability” that he was accidentally killed by an Israeli soldier during a raid in the occupied West Bank last May.

It was the closest that Israel has come to accepting responsibility for the shooting. But in a report that raised as many questions as it sought to be answered, the military provided no new evidence to support its claim that a Palestinian-American journalist was killed by Palestinian fire during a fight between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers. may have gone. It also said that no one will be punished for shooting.

The findings were unlikely to pacify an issue that had worsened already severely strained relations between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian authorities and Abu Aqleh’s family both accused the military of evading responsibility for his assassination.

“Our family is not shocked by this outcome as it is clear to anyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigate their crimes. However, we are deeply hurt, disappointed and disappointed,” his family said in a statement.

Read also:al Jazeera Will go to ICC in case of murder of journalist Shirin Abu Akleh says

On May 11, 51-year-old Palestinian-American Abu Akleh was killed while covering an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. he covered the west bank al Jazeera For two decades and was a well-known face across the Arab world.

In a briefing with reporters, a senior Israeli military official said that there was a “high probability” that Abu Akleh was accidentally shot by an Israeli soldier stationed inside an armored vehicle, who thought he was was targeting a terrorist.

“She misidentified him,” the official said on condition of anonymity under military briefing guidelines. “Their reports in real time … point to an absolutely false identity.”

“We know he fired, but it could very well have been a second fire,” he said.

Jenin is known as a stronghold of Palestinian militants, and since a series of deadly attacks inside Israel earlier this year, Israel has conducted raids there almost at night, some of which were carried out by raiders from the region. .

Reiterating previous Israeli claims, the military official said troops were fired from multiple directions for nearly an hour before Abu Akleh was shot. The military released several videos showing Palestinian militants firing automatic weapons and firing on soldiers that day.

But the army did not provide any evidence to support its claim that a fierce gunfight was going on when Abu Akleh was shot. Amateur video as well as witnesses’ accounts showed no evidence of terrorists in the vicinity and the area appeared quiet for several minutes before he was shot.

It was also unclear how Abu Akleh, who was wearing a helmet and vest marked “press” at the time, could be mistaken for a terrorist. The officer only said that the soldier’s vision from inside the vehicle was “very limited”, causing Abu Aqleh to be misidentified in the split-second decision.

He said the findings of the investigation were handed over to the chief military prosecutor, who was satisfied with them and decided against a criminal investigation. This means that no one will be charged in his death.

Poor investigation of wrongdoings, say critics

Critics have long accused the military of doing a poor job of investigating wrongdoings by its soldiers. Israeli human rights group B’Tselem accused the military of “whitewashing”, while both Abu Aklah’s family and the Palestinian Authority called for the case to be turned over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The ICC has launched an investigation into possible war crimes by Israel in both Gaza and the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Radeneh, dismissed the announcement as “another Israeli attempt to evade responsibility for his assassination”.

He added that all the evidence proves that “Israel is the culprit, that he killed Shirin, and that he should be held responsible for his crime.”

PA, the family of Abu Akleh and al Jazeera Israel is accused of deliberately killing Abu Akleh, while a series of investigations by international media organizations, including The Associated Pressfound that Israeli soldiers fired the most deadly shots. The United States concluded that an Israeli soldier killed him by mistake, but did not explain how it reached that conclusion.

al JazeeraThe U.S.’s local bureau chief, Walid al-Omari, said Monday’s report was “clearly an attempt to prevent the opening of a criminal investigation.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists called Israel’s findings “late and incomplete”.

Sheriff Mansour, the group’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said: “He did not name the killer of Shirin Abu Aqleh, nor did he provide any information other than his own testimony that the murder was a mistake.” “It does not provide the answer – by any measure of transparency or accountability – to which his family and colleagues deserve.”

Israel has previously said it was killed during a complex battle with Palestinian militants and that only a forensic analysis could confirm whether the bullet was fired by an Israeli soldier or a Palestinian terrorist. However, a US-led analysis of the bullet last July was inconclusive as investigators said the bullet was badly damaged.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday, “We welcome Israel’s review of this tragic incident, and underscore again the importance of accountability in this matter, such as to prevent such incidents in the future.” policies and procedures.”

AP Reconstructions of the assassination of Abu Akleh supported the accounts of witnesses that he was killed by the Israeli army. subsequent check by CNNThe new York Times And this Washington Post Similar conclusions were reached, as monitored by the Office of the UN Head of Human Rights.

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