The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights assures that the Al Jazira journalist, the Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on May 11 while covering a raid against Palestinian militiamen in the northern West Bank. .
“The shots that killed Abu Akleh and wounded his colleague Ali Samudi came from the Israeli security forces and not from indiscriminate shootings by armed Palestinians,” said UN agency spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani. Her report – she stressed in Geneva – is based on the information gathered in her investigation including the Israeli Army and the Palestinian Attorney General.
“We have not found any information to suggest that there was any activity by armed Palestinians near the journalists,” he said of the time of the shooting. Shamdasani has demanded that the Israeli authorities carry out a criminal investigation. According to her, “it is deeply disturbing” that they have not yet done so.
In his first reaction, the Israeli Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, has once again asked the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) for a joint investigation including “the delivery of the bullet that hit Shireen”.
“We can only discover the truth by carrying out an exhaustive ballistic and forensic investigation and not through baseless investigations such as the one published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” said Gantz, who expressed his condolences for the death of the well-known journalist. “The Army acts to thwart terrorist attacks against Israelis while taking all possible measures to prevent the deaths of uninvolved civilians,” she added.
The PNA has stated that the UN corroborates its accusations that Israel killed Abu Akleh. His position is shared from the outset by Qatar, owner of the television network where he has worked since 1997.
A month ago, Palestinian Attorney General Akram al Khatib declared that his investigation “showed that the attacks on Shireen Abu Akleh and journalists close to her were deliberate.”
“The type of bullet, the weapon, the distance, the fact that there was no obstruction to his vision and that he was wearing a press jacket (…) lead us to conclude that Abu Akleh was the target of a murder. The only The shots were fired by the occupation forces with the aim of killing,” the prosecutor concluded, stating that the military jeep was 200 meters from the journalists and the bullets were fired at a distance of 170-180 meters.
According to the ANP, there were no armed clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian militiamen at the time of Abu Akleh’s head shot. The journalist, known for her defense of the Palestinian cause and converted after the morning of May 11 into a symbol of her people, she wore the bulletproof vest with the word “press” and a protective helmet.
The investigation carried out by “The New York Times” indicated this week that “most likely” is that the death was due to shooting by Israeli soldiers although it found no indication that it was a deliberate attack. CNN and Al Jazeera also concluded that he was killed by the military action in Jenin.
Israel, for its part, denounces that the Palestinian leadership accused its soldiers immediately and without any evidence and criticizes that it continues to refuse a joint investigation under the coordination of the United States to analyze the bullet used. The investigation carried out by the Army indicated that without the ballistic test “it cannot conclusively establish” whether the shot came from one of its soldiers or one of the militiamen. “The death of the journalist Abu Akleh, which we regret, occurred in an exchange of fire with armed Palestinians in the framework of an anti-terrorist operation in Jenin after a serious wave of attacks in the streets of Israel with 19 civilians killed,” sources say. soldiers who reject the possibility of a deliberate attack against the journalist.
“Following the biased investigations that have recently been presented, the Army once again reiterates its request to the Palestinians to share access to the bullet with which Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh died,” he said in a statement on Friday. denouncing that “the Palestinians’ refusal to hand over the bullet and conduct a joint investigation is revealing of their motives.”
24 United States senators on Thursday asked President Joe Biden for their country to participate in a “thorough and transparent” investigation.
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