World IDF admits to 'high possibility' Palestinian journalist shot by...

IDF admits to ‘high possibility’ Palestinian journalist shot by their forces

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Palestinian journalist holds a portrait of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by gunfire in Jenin, during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron, on May 11. Israel Defense Forces said on Monday there was a “high possibility” she was killed by Israeli military gunfire. File Photo by Abed Al Hashlamoun/EPA-EFE

Sept. 5 (BP) — Israel Defense Forces on Monday for the first time admitted there is a “high possibility” Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed by their service members accidentally in May but will not pursue criminal charges.

Abu Akleh, who was working for Al Jazeera, was killed and her colleague Ali Sammoudi was injured on May 11 while the IDF was conducting an operation in the area.

In its own investigation, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in June that Abu Akleh was killed by shots fired by Israeli Security Forces and not by indiscriminate fire from armed Palestinians.

An IDF spokesperson said, according to the Jerusalem Post, while it is still unclear where who fired the shots that killed the journalist, “there is a high possibility that Shireen was accidentally hit by IDF gunfire that was fired toward suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen, during an exchange of fire in which life-risking, widespread an indiscriminate shots were fired toward IDF soldiers.”

Al Jazeera has complained that Abu Akleh was intentionally targeted by Israeli forces. Witnesses told CNN, which was supported by security video at the time of the shooting, that there was no combat activity or Palestinian militants in Abu Akleh’s location at the time of the shooting.

Abu Akleh was wearing a protective vest that is labeled “PRESS” on the front and back at the time she was shot.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, who ordered the investigation, said he has found no evidence that Abu Akleh was intentionally fired upon.

“Our family is not surprised by this outcome since it’s obvious to anyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigate their own crimes,” Abu Akleh’s family said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel. “However, we remain deeply hurt, frustrated and disappointed.

Since Abu Akleh also had U.S. citizenship, the family called on the Biden administration and the International Criminal Court to hold their own investigations.

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