UN says journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli fire

The shots that killed Abu Akleh and injured her colleague 'came from Israeli security forces'

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The United Nations said on Friday its findings showed that the shot that killed Al Jazeera TV journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last month was fired by Israeli forces.

Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who worked for the Qatar-based broadcaster, was shot and killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli army operation at Jenin camp in the northern West Bank.

“The shots that killed Abu Akleh and injured her colleague Ali Sammoudi came from Israeli security forces and not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by Israeli authorities,” UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in a statement.

“We have found no information suggesting that there was activity by armed Palestinians in the immediate vicinity of the journalists,” she added.

Ms Shamdasani said that a UN team had inspected photographic, video and audio material, visited the scene, consulted experts, reviewed official communications and interviewed witnesses.

“Soon after 06h00, seven journalists, including Shireen Abu Akleh, arrived at the western entrance of the Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank to cover an continuing arrest operation by Israeli security forces and the ensuing clashes”, she said.

“The journalists said they chose a side street for their approach to avoid the location of armed Palestinians inside the camp and that they proceeded slowly in order to make their presence visible to the Israeli forces deployed down the street.

“Our findings indicate that no warnings were issued and no shooting was taking place at that time and at that location.

“It is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation,” she added.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has urged Israeli authorities to open a criminal investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing and into all other killings and serious injuries by Israeli forces in the West Bank, according to the statement.

Updated: June 24, 2022, 11:29 AM
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