By Daniel Avis and Gwen Ackerman – Bloomberg News
Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was very likely unintentionally killed by an Israeli soldier, Israel’s military has concluded, finding it hadn’t been possible to “unequivocally determine” the cause of her death.
The final report by the Israel Defence Forces into the killing in May of the Al Jazeera television journalist found that no Israeli solider had opened fire “in a manner intended to harm the journalist,” the IDF said in a statement.
The military has decided not to open a criminal investigation into Abu Akleh’s death, it said.
In a statement, the Abu Akleh family said Israel had “refused to take responsibility” for her death. “We cannot and will not stop until we have justice for Shireen,” they said.
The Israeli findings mirror those of a U.S. State Department investigation in July, which concluded that gunfire from Israeli army positions was “likely responsible” for Abu Akleh’s death. The U.S. probe found that the bullet that killed her was too badly damaged to offer a definitive conclusion as to who was responsible.
The Palestinian Authority rejected the U.S. findings, arguing that the journalist had been deliberately targeted by Israeli forces.
Abu Akleh was killed while reporting on an Israeli raid against armed militants in the West Bank city of Jenin. Her death came amid an upsurge in violence that began in late March as Muslim and Jewish religious holidays coincided.
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Source: American Military News