US says Israeli forces ‘likely responsible’ for death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh “very probably” was killed by Israeli forces, but the bullet he hit her in the head “is too damaged” to say so with certainty. Here, according to New York Times, the results of the US State Department’s investigation into the death of the correspondent theAl Jazeerawho died in May while covering an Israeli army raid on the Jenin displacement camp.

“Due to the damage the bullet sustained, it is difficult to know precisely what weapon it was fired from”, specifies the American newspaper. The bullet indeed appears to have been “partly crushed”, presumably after hitting the edge of the hard hat Shireen Abu Akleh was wearing. The origin of the shots, on the other hand, suggests that the Israeli forces are “likely responsible for his death”.

According to the US survey, “there is no indication that [la journaliste] was intentionally killed”. The State Department rather refers to “tragic circumstances, having led to his death, during a military operation of the Israeli special forces”.

Several surveys

With these results, the US State Department hopes to settle the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians over this matter. “The latter had been deadlocked for weeks as the Palestinians refused to hand over the ball [responsable de la mort de Shireen Abu Akleh] to Israeli investigators, and the Israeli army having ruled out giving the suspect weapon to the Palestinians”, specifies the New York title. In this context, the United States had been appointed as mediators, with each side accusing the other of manipulating the evidence to their advantage.

Several other investigations had already been carried out on this news item, which for many Palestinians has become “the symbol of the dangers and frustrations of life under Israeli military occupation”. An official Palestinian investigation and several foreign journalistic investigations had thus highlighted, at the end of June, the responsibility of the Israeli forces in the death of the American-Palestinian journalist.

But Israel denied it, with its defense minister calling it “a shameless lie any claim that the Israeli military intentionally targeted journalists or uninvolved civilians” in violence. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also concluded that the journalist had fallen under Israeli bullets, however excluding deliberate shooting.

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