Israel has promised a thorough investigation into the death of an Al Jazeera reporter who was killed during an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday.
Defense Minster Benny Gantz made the statement after US officials condemned the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, who was a US citizen, and after the Israeli government walked back their initial remarks that she had been hit by stray bullet.
“We are trying to figure out exactly what happened . . . I don’t have final conclusions,” said Gantz.
“Currently we do not know what was the direct cause of Shireen’s death. We are very decisive to have a full-scale investigation of this process, and we hope to get Palestinian cooperation on this issue. Without the report of the pathological findings and the forensic findings, it would be very hard for us to find out what happened on the ground.”
Abu Akleh, a well-known journalist in the Middle East who was covering the Israeli military raid along with two other journalists, was killed when troops came under fire.
Both journalists that accompanied Abu Akleh were wounded in the firefight — and blame Israeli forces for the veteran journalist’s death.
The death of Abu Akleh has drawn fresh criticism on the Israeli Military Justice system, which is currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court.
“In a blatant murder, violating international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Palestine, Shireen Abu Akleh,” a statement from Al Jazeera said.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett fired back saying that their own investigation found that Palestinians were responsible.
“According to the information we have gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist,” Bennet said.
Gantz added that they have investigated all the troops that were involved, but have yet to form a final conclusion.
With Post Wires