IDF acknowledges ‘strong possibility’ of shooting journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

IDF acknowledges 'strong possibility' of shooting journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

A half-hearted confession decried by the family and the supporters of the reporter. For the first time, the Israeli army recognized on Monday September 5 “a strong possibility” of having killed, but not deliberately, the journalist of the pan-Arab channel Al Jazeera Shireen Abu Akleh.

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

After the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, equipped with a bullet-proof vest with the words “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 his investigation and admitted that one of his soldiers had indeed fired in the direction of the journalist, mistaking his identity: “There is a strong possibility that M.me Abu Akleh was accidentally hit by Israeli army fire which was aimed at suspects identified as Palestinian gunmen. »

Read also: Death of Shireen Abu Akleh: the UN concludes that the journalist was killed in the West Bank by the Israeli army

The army said it had studied ” chronologically “ the sequence of events, analyzed the locations, videos and sounds recorded on site, conducted a “scene simulation” and that “Israeli experts” carried out a ballistic analysis of the bullet on July 2, in the presence of representatives of the “United States Security Coordinating Committee for Israel and the Palestinian Authority”. Due to the “poor condition of the ball”identifying its origin was ” hard “underlines the army in its report, saying that it is not certain ” unequivocal “ of the origin of the fatal shooting to the journalist.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Palestine: the fatal bullet to journalist Shireen Abu Akleh under examination by the Israelis and the Americans

“The soldier misidentified his target”

Like the Israeli army, the United States had concluded that Shireen Abu Akleh had “presumably” was killed by fire from an Israeli position, without having reason to believe that her death was intentional. “The soldier was not looking to target an Al Jazeera reporter or a journalist in general. (…) The soldier misidentified his target and he is sorry about that.a senior Israeli military official said in a press briefing on Monday. “It shouldn’t have happened, he didn’t do it on purpose.”he added.

This official indicated that the soldier, posted about 200 meters behind the journalist, had not seen his inscription “press” on the front of his bulletproof vest. He said the journalist had been shot in the back of the head.

Also listen Who was Shireen Abu Akleh, the journalist killed in an Israeli army raid?

The Israeli military prosecutor’s office announced on Monday that it “there was no suspicion of a criminal act justifying the opening of a criminal investigation by the military police” and this, although there is a “high probability” that Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli soldiers. “The facts and the investigations prove that Israel is the culprit, that it is Israel that killed Shireen, and it is Israel that must bear the responsibility for its crime”reacted Nabil Abou Roudeina, the spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who had also organized a national funeral in Ramallah in honor of the journalist.

The Abu Akleh family, who met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington in July, accused Israeli authorities on Monday of “to avoid taking responsibility for the murder” of the journalist, in a statement issued in the wake of the Israeli investigation report. “We remain deeply hurt, frustrated and disappointed”underlined the family by asking the United States to carry out an investigation “credible”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The death of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh brings Israel face to face with its responsibilities as an occupier

“The Israeli armed forces’ admission of guilt comes too late and is incomplete. They did not provide the name of Shireen Abu Akleh’s killer and no other information about his testimony other than to say he is sorry.”, lambasted Sherif Mansour, head of the Middle East at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in New York. The Israeli anti-colonization NGO B’Tselem has described “false confession” the conclusions of the Israeli army. “It’s not an investigation, it’s a cover-up. It’s not a mistake, it’s a policy.”lamented the NGO.

The World with AFP

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