Shireen Abu Akleh killed by Israeli gunfire, says UN rights organization

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TEL AVIV – A veteran Palestinian-American journalist was killed by Israeli forces while covering a military attack on the occupied West Bank, according to an independent investigation published Friday by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She was not shot “by indiscriminate shooting by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by Israeli authorities,” the office added.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a correspondent with decades of experience for the Al Jazeera news network on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was fatally shot in the head early in the morning on May 11 while reporting an Israeli raid on the western city of Jenin. Jordan bank.

IDF spokesman Ran Kochav first acknowledged the incident at 7:45 am and said: “The possibility that journalists may have been injured, possibly from Palestinian gunfire, is under investigation.”

Later that morning, he told Army Radio it was “probable” that a Palestinian gunman was responsible. However, at the end of the day, Israeli defense forces went back on those statements and said an Israeli soldier could also be responsible for firing the fatal shot.

However, a week after the killing, the military said it had found no evidence of criminal conduct in the killing, which would be necessary for a military police investigation.

“More than six weeks after the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and wounding her colleague Ali Samoudi in Jenin on May 11, 2022, it is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not launched a criminal investigation,” the UN human rights organization statement said. . Office.

The conclusion is consistent with the findings of a study published earlier this month by The Washington Post that examined visual, audio and witness statements. It found no evidence of armed Palestinian activity in the immediate vicinity of where Abu Akleh and a group of other journalists stood before the murder.

However, according to The Post’s analysis of available footage, an IDF convoy was present about 182 meters to 243 meters (597 feet to 797 feet) from the group of journalists, including Abu Akleh.

“Perpetrator must be held accountable,” the UN statement said.

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