Information reviewed by the UN Human Rights Office suggests Israeli security forces fired the shot that killed Palestinian-American reporter Shirin Abu Akle in May, rather than an indiscriminate shooting of Palestinians, a spokesman said Friday.
“It is deeply disturbing that the Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation,” Ravina Shamdasani said at a briefing in Geneva.
Israeli and Palestinian officials exchanged accusations over the shooting, which also led to chaos at Ms. Abu Akle’s funeral, with Israeli police attacking mourners.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Friday they are committed to investigating the death of Ms. Abu Akle and called on the Palestinian authorities to grant access to the bullet that killed her.
The Palestinian Authority refused to hand over the bullet, saying it did not trust Israel.
“The results of the UN investigation confirm once again what we have said from the very beginning, that Israel is responsible for the murder of journalist Shirin Abu Akle and should be held accountable for this crime,” said Nabil Abu Rudeine, a spokesman for the Palestinian president. This was reported by Mahmoud Abbas to Reuters.
Ms Shamdasani said that the UN Human Rights Office conducted its own “monitoring” of the incident – she declined to use the word “investigation” – and reviewed the photo, video and audio material.
According to her, they also went to the scene, consulted with experts, studied official reports and interviewed witnesses.
“All the information we have collected, including official information from the Israeli military and the Palestinian Attorney General, is consistent with the conclusion that the shots that killed Abu Akle and wounded her colleague Ali Sammoudi were fired by the Israeli security forces and not the result of indiscriminate shooting. by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by the Israeli authorities,” she said.
The Palestinian Authority said its investigation found that Ms. Abu Akle was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in a “premeditated killing”.
His conclusions were supported by several witnesses, including Palestinian journalists, who said she was killed by Israeli fire. Israel denied the allegations.
Ms. Abu Akle was shot dead on 11 May while covering an Israeli military raid in the city of Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
“Our findings show that there were no warnings and no shooting at that time and place,” Ms. Shamdasani said.
“At about 06:30, when four journalists turned into the street leading to the camp, wearing bulletproof helmets and body armor marked PRESS, several single, apparently well-aimed bullets were fired at them by the Israeli Security Forces,” she said. she is.
“One bullet hit Ali Sammoudi in the shoulder, another bullet hit Abu Akla in the head and killed her instantly.”
In a statement in response to Ms. Shamdasani’s briefing, the IDF insisted there had been a firefight between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.
“Since the incident, the IDF has been investigating and investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Abu Akle,” the statement said.
“The IDF investigation clearly shows that Ms. Abu Akle was not deliberately shot by an IDF soldier and that it is impossible to determine whether she was killed by a Palestinian militant who fired indiscriminately in her area or by negligence by an IDF soldier.”
In a previous statement, the Israeli military said they had identified the soldier’s rifle that may have killed Ms. Abu Akle, but they needed to analyze the lethal bullet to be sure.