After an inquiry into the shooting death of Shireen Abu Akleh, an army officer claims no one will be punished.
While reporting on Israeli military incursions in the occupied West Bank, Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot.
The Palestinians accused Israel of carrying out the murder after the latter first stated that she could have been killed by terrorist fire but subsequently indicated that a soldier may have accidentally hit her during a firefight.
Journalist Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American, was well-known throughout the Arab world and had covered the West Bank for the satellite channel for 20 years.
In disclosing the findings of an inquiry into her death, a senior Israeli military official stated the IDF was unable to definitively pinpoint the source of the fire and speculated that Palestinian militants could have been present near the Israeli soldier.
But he asserted that there was a “very strong possibility” that the soldier accidentally shot the journalist. The official failed to provide an explanation for why witness testimonies and footage revealed little terrorist activity in the region and no gunfire up to the barrage that hit Abu Akleh and wounded a second reporter.
According to military briefing regulations, the officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity added, “He mistook her.” His real-time reports “unquestionably point to a misidentification.”
The inquiry was criticized by Abu Akleh’s family, who said that the army “tried to obfuscate the facts and evade accountability” for the assassination.
In a statement, they said: “Our family is not shocked by this result because it is clear to everyone that Israeli war criminals are unable to look into their own atrocities. However, we continue to feel incredibly wounded, angry, and disgusted.
The family also renewed their plea for the US to conduct its own probe and for the ICC to conduct an investigation.
Meeting with Biden
President Biden’s trip to Jerusalem has prompted the family of Abu Akleh to request a meeting with him and accuse his administration of absolving Israel of responsibility for her murder.
The US State Department determined that Israeli forces were “probably responsible” for shooting the Al Jazeera reporter in the face in the West Bank city of Jenin in May, but “found no evidence to suggest that this was deliberate,” according to Abu Akleh’s brother Anton. Anton wrote to Biden on Friday to convey his family’s “anguish, righteous indignation, and sense of betrayal.”
Given the overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrating that Abu Akleh “was the subject of a targeted killing” by the Israeli military, including a United Nations report claiming soldiers fired “several single, seemingly well-aimed bullets” at her and other journalists, the letter to Biden claimed the state department evaluation was a “whitewash.”
According to the family, the White House adopted the conclusions and political rhetoric of the Israeli government with “an evident purpose to undercut our efforts seeking justice and responsibility for Shireen’s killing.”
The letter claimed that the US has been working to “aimlessly wander toward the eradication of any misconduct by Israeli soldiers.”