Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was likely killed unintentionally Israel’s defence forces is reported to have announced after an investigation. The Committee to Protect Journalists is criticising the statement for lack of transparency and accountability.
“The Israel Defence Forces’ admission of guilt is late and incomplete. They provided no name for Shireen Abu Akleh’s killer and no other information than his or her own testimony that the killing was a mistake,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.
“That does not provide the answers–by any measure of transparency or accountability–that her family and colleagues deserve.”
Abu Akleh, a dual Palestinian American national, was shot and killed on May 11 while she was reporting on an Israel Defence Force’s raid in the Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin.
34 rights groups have earlier demanded an immediate and independent investigation of the killing of Abu Akleh.
“We demand that the government of Israel and all other states fulfil their responsibility to ensure that crimes against journalists are fully investigated and prosecuted”, the signatories say in a statement. Among them were Committee to Protect Journalist, International Press Institute, World Association of News Publishers and PEN International.
The organisations said eyewitness accounts, video documentation and media reports indicate that journalists may have been deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers.
”An analysis by independent investigative teams with Bellingcat concluded that the gunfire came from Israeli soldiers and that the shots seem to have been “both aimed and deliberate.”
”The killing of Abu Akleh, one of Palestine’s most widely respected journalists who had reported from the West Bank for decades, has shocked many in the region and around the world. According to Al Jazeera, Abu Akleh and three other journalists came under fire from Israeli soldiers while reporting on an Israeli military raid of a refugee camp in the city of Jenin on the West Bank. The reporters were wearing vests and helmets, clearly marked as “press.” Abu Akleh was shot in the face and Al Jazeera producer Ali Al-Samoudi was shot in the back. Al-Samoudi was treated for gunshot wounds and released from the hospital”, the organisations said.