‘A grave mistake’ – Israel criticizes FBI investigation into murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday Israel would not cooperate with any external investigation into the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Local media reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has opened an investigation into the killing of the Palestinian-American reporter, who was fatally shot while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in May.

“The US Department of Justice’s decision to investigate the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a grave error,” Gantz said in a statement.

In recent months, the Israeli military has announced the long-awaited results of its investigation into the fatal shooting of Ms Abu Akleh, saying there is a “high probability” that an Israeli soldier accidentally killed her during a raid in the occupied West Bank last May .

Israel came closest to claiming responsibility for the shooting. But in a report that seemed to raise as many questions as it was trying to answer, the military revealed no new evidence to support its claim that the Palestinian-American journalist may have been killed by Palestinian fire during a fight between Palestinian gunners and Israeli troops .

It also said no one would be punished for the shooting.

The conclusions were unlikely to resolve a problem that has soured already strained relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Both Palestinian officials and Abu Akleh’s family accused the army of evading responsibility for her killing.

“Our family is not surprised by this finding as it is obvious to everyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigate their own crimes. However, we remain deeply hurt, frustrated and disappointed,” her family said in a statement.

Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old Palestinian-American, was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. She had covered the West Bank for Al Jazeera for two decades and was a well-known face in the Arab world.

In a briefing with reporters, a senior Israeli military official said there was a “very high probability” that Abu Akleh was accidentally shot dead by an Israeli soldier who was in an armored vehicle and thought he was aiming at a militant.

“He misidentified her,” the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with military instruction guidelines. “His real-time reports… absolutely point to a misidentification.”

“We know he fired, but it could very well have been from another fire,” he added.

https://www.independent.ie/news/a-serious-mistake-israel-criticises-fbi-investigation-into-killing-of-al-jazeera-journalist-shireen-abu-akleh-42144343.html ‘A grave mistake’ – Israel criticizes FBI investigation into murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

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