Israeli army acknowledges ‘high probability’ of killing journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Israeli army acknowledges ‘high probability’ of killing journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

The Israeli army acknowledged for the first time on Monday that there was “a strong possibility” that the journalist of the pan-Arab channel Al Jazeera Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in May by one of its soldiers.

Al Jazeera star, the American-Palestinian journalist was shot dead on May 11 while covering an Israeli military operation in the Palestinian camp of Jenin, a stronghold of the Palestinian armed factions in the north of the occupied West Bank, where a special unit was trying to apprehend “suspects”, which had led to armed clashes.

Israel denies accusations so far

After the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, equipped with a bulletproof vest with the mention “press” and a helmet, the Palestinian Authority and her employer Al Jazeera immediately accused the Israeli army of having killed her. Israel has consistently rejected this accusation, despite journalistic investigations and a UN report concluding that an Israeli shot was fired, which however ruled out that it was deliberate.

However, on Monday, the Israeli army published the “final conclusions” of its investigation and admitted that one of its soldiers had indeed fired in the direction of the journalist, mistaking her identity: “There is a strong possibility that Mrs Abu Akleh was accidentally hit by Israeli army fire which was aimed at suspects identified as Palestinian gunmen.”

A careful investigation

The military said it “chronologically” studied the sequence of events, analyzed the scene, videos and sounds recorded on site, conducted a “simulation of the scene” and that “Israeli experts” conducted a ballistic analysis of the ball, on July 2, in the presence of representatives of the “United States Security Coordination Committee for Israel and the Palestinian Authority”.

Due to the “poor condition of the bullet”, identifying its origin was “difficult”, underlines the army in its report, saying that it does not have “unequivocal” certainty of the origin of the fatal shot at the journalist.

Reference: www.europe1.fr

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