A recent FBI decision to reopen an investigation into the death of a Palestinian-American reporter in Israel is upsetting Israeli leaders, straining relations between the U.S. and Israel.
The investigation is into the death of Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh who died in May after being caught in the crossfire between Israeli troops and Palestinian terrorists. The Palestinian Authority blamed the Israeli Defense Forces for killing Abu Akleh on purpose but also refused to open a joint investigation with Israel or produce the bullet that killed the journalist, CBN News reports.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials called the new investigation a "grave mistake."
The initial investigation ended in September and concluded that accidental gunfire from Israel likely killed her, but at the request of the U.S. Justice Department, the investigation is being reopened, particularly because Abu Akleh held dual Palestinian-American citizenship.
Abu Akleh was 51 and wearing a helmet and protective vest with the word "press" on it when she was shot. She had covered the West Bank for Al Jazeera for more than 20 years.
Israel's outgoing Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, rejected the claim that the IDF was responsible for a targeted killing.
"The IDF is a moral and ethical army," he said. "The soldiers and commanders of the IDF protect Israel, thoroughly investigating any out-of-the-ordinary event and are dedicated to the values and rules of democracy. The IDF soldiers will not be investigated by the FBI, nor by any foreign entity or foreign country, however friendly it may be. We will not abandon IDF soldiers to foreign investigations, and our fierce protest was delivered to the Americans in the appropriate ranks."
Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz also said he believed reopening the investigation was a mistake.
"We will not cooperate with any external investigation, and we will not allow any interference in Israel's internal affairs," he said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Domoyega
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.