Palestinian Probe Says Israeli Sniper “Deliberately” Shot Reporter, Israel Denies

Palestinian Probe Says Israeli Sniper “Deliberately” Shot Reporter, Israel Denies

RAMALLAH/JERUSALEM, May 27 (NNN-WAFA) – The Palestinian Authority (PA), yesterday announced that, its probe revealed that Al Jazeera reporter, Shireen Abu Akleh, was “deliberately” shot by an Israeli sniper, but Israel denounced it as a “lie.”

On May 11, Abu Akleh, 51, was killed, after being shot in the head, while covering an Israeli military raid on the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin, in the northern West Bank.

In a news briefing held at the Palestinian presidential headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, PA General Prosecutor, Akram al-Khatib, previewed the final results of the investigation into Abu Akleh’s death.

“The only source of fire that targeted the journalist and killed her (Abu Akleh) was from the side where the Israeli forces were stationed in Jenin,” al-Khatib told reporters.

He said, “One of the Israeli soldiers shot Abu Akleh in the head, while she was trying to run and hide,” adding that, “the shooting was directly and deliberately targeting journalists present in the area.”

The investigation was based on interviews with witnesses, an inspection of the scene, and a forensic medical report, he said.

The probe found no Palestinian fighters near the shooting scene, al-Khatib said, referring to the Israeli claim that Palestinian gunmen could have killed Abu Akleh.

Palestinian presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, told reporters that, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry had submitted all the documents required, to all international bodies, including the International Criminal Court.

Meanwhile, Israel dismissed the findings of the Palestinian investigation as “a blatant lie.”

“Any claim that the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) intentionally harms journalists or uninvolved civilians is a blatant lie,” Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz said in a statement, responding to the Palestinian probe.

He said, Israel is willing to conduct an investigation in collaboration with international bodies, if the PA agrees to share all of its findings and hand over the bullet that killed the journalist.

“The IDF is operating against murderous terrorism, which in recent weeks has claimed the lives of 20 people,” Gantz said, adding that, many of the assailants came from the area where the incident took place.

“We always act with precision, targeting terrorists and taking measures to avoid harm to civilians. We will continue operating in this manner,” he said.– NNN-WAFA  


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