Israel Rejects Latest U.N. Inquiry Into Death of Abu Akleh

Family and friends carry the coffin of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid in Jenin, May 13. (REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Israel once again rebuffed claims that IDF soldiers intentionally killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin last month and rejected a report published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as “unfounded.”

Abu Akleh was killed during an encounter between IDF forces and terrorists in the Jenin refugee camp on May 11. The IDF has launched an investigation into the incident.

Ravina Shamdasani, U.N. Human Rights spokesperson, stated Friday that the body finds it “deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation.” Israel has launched a comprehensive investigation into the incident, but not a cranial one against specific individuals.

The U.N. Human Rights Office’s “independent monitoring” of the incident is “consistent with the finding” that the shots that killed Abu Akleh and injured her colleague Ali Sammoudi came from the IDF and not from indiscriminate firing by terrorists, as claimed by the IDF.

“International human rights law requires prompt, thorough, transparent, independent and impartial investigation into all use of force resulting in death or serious injury. Perpetrators must be held to account,” the U.N. demanded.

In response, Defense Minister Benny Gantz again expressed his condolences and stated that “her loved ones deserve to know the truth behind her tragic death – and we may only uncover the truth by conducting a thorough ballistic, forensic investigation and not through unfounded investigations such as the one published by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“‏The IDF operates day and night to thwart bloodthirsty terrorists who seek to conduct terror attacks and murder Israeli citizens. At the same time, the IDF takes all the possible measures to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians. In addition, the IDF conducts thorough investigations,“ he noted.

‏He once again called on the Palestinian Authority to “deliver the bullet that hit Shireen, to the State of Israel. That is what must be done in order to uncover the truth.”

Similarly, the IDF again offered the PA to pass the bullet that killed Abu Akleh for their examination.

The PA’s “refusal to move the bullet and conduct a joint investigation indicates their considerations,” alluding to the fact that the PA is avoiding a truthful investigation.

Since the incident, the IDF “has been investigating the circumstances of the reporter’s death. An IDF investigation states that the journalist was in no way shot intentionally, and it is not possible to determine whether she was killed by Palestinian gunmen who fired uncontrollably at her surroundings or by an IDF soldier by accident.”

“The IDF regrets harming the uninvolved even during an exchange of fire or [on] a battlefield and takes great care to ensure freedom of movement and the press,” it underscored.

A government official recently said that Israel has called for a joint pathological investigation, “but the Palestinians are refusing, perhaps in order to hide the truth.”

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!