UN: Israelis fired shots that killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

USA & World

UN: Israelis fired shots that killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

The United Nations has said that information it had gathered showed that the bullets that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11 were fired by Israeli forces.

“All information we have gathered … is consistent with the finding that 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,” UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva on Friday.

Shamdasani added that the information the OHCHR had gathered had revealed no “activity by armed Palestinians in the immediate vicinity of the journalists.”

Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces while she was covering an army raid on Jenin, in the northern occupied West Bank.

Her killing led to outrage from Palestinians and around the world.

Multiple witnesses said that Israeli forces killed the veteran reporter. Investigations conducted by several media organisations have also come to the same conclusion.

Shamdasani said that the OHCHR’s investigation had shown that Abu Akleh and her fellow journalists had made a concerted effort to be visible as members of the press to Israeli soldiers positioned further down the street.

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

“Several single, seemingly well-aimed bullets were fired towards them [the journalists] from the direction of the Israeli Security Forces.”

Shamdasani added that bullets continued to be fired at an unarmed man who tried to come to Abu Akleh’s aid, as well as a journalist who was sheltering behind a tree.

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