Israel Defense Forces gunfire may have accidentally killed veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh earlier this year while she was reporting in the West Bank.
According to CBN News, the IDF said there is a “high possibility” that Shireen was killed on May 11 during an Israeli counterterrorism raid in the Palestinian refugee camp.
Shireen was a Christian and was wearing a helmet and vest that had the word “PRESS” on it.
The IDF had said she was likely killed by Israeli gunfire, but the report said it “is not possible to unequivocally determine the source of the gunfire which hit Ms. Abu Akleh.”
“However, there is a high possibility that Ms. Abu Akleh was accidentally hit by IDF gunfire that was fired toward suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen, during an exchange of fire in which life-risking, widespread and indiscriminate shots were fired toward IDF soldiers.”
The report also said it was possible that “armed Palestinian gunmen” may have shot her.
No Israeli soldiers will be held legally accountable for her death.
Palestinian witnesses who say they saw the shooting, Palestinian officials and Abu Akleh’s family, however, all say she was “intentionally” killed.
They also reject assertions that she was killed during a firefight between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, claiming that video footage shows that the area was quiet before she was shot.
“Our family is not surprised by this outcome since it’s obvious to anyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigate their own crimes,” the family said in a statement. “However, we remain deeply hurt, frustrated, and disappointed.
Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the announcement was “another Israeli attempt to evade responsibility for her killing.”
Abu Akleh’s former employer, Al Jazeera, also said it didn’t believe the IDF statement and investigation results, calling it a “clear attempt to circumvent the opening of a criminal investigation.”
Aviv Kohavi, IDF chief of staff, called the death a “devastating incident” and said the military takes “great efforts” to prevent the deaths of journalists.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Liorpt
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.