Military Police with the Israel Defence Forces will not open an investigation into the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, in Jenin last week, despite her being shot in the head by an army sniper, Haaretz has reported. The Military Police Criminal Investigation Division believes that an investigation that treats Israeli soldiers as suspects will lead to opposition within Israeli society.
In response, Abu Akleh’s family said that they had anticipated this and reiterated their call for a transparent probe into her shooting. “We were expecting this from the Israelis. That’s why we didn’t want them to participate in the investigation,” the family told Al Jazeera. “We want to hold whoever is responsible for these acts accountable. We urge the United States in particular – since she was a US citizen – and the international community to open a just and transparent investigation and put an end to the killings.”
The family has been reassured by the US government that Abu Akleh’s killing would be investigated.
According to Haaretz, there was “no suspicion” of the shooting being a criminal act. When questioned, the soldiers claimed that they thought they were firing at a Palestinian fighter, despite witnesses and Al Jazeera journalists reporting that there was no shooting in Abu Akleh’s vicinity. The journalist was also wearing a flak jacket marked clearly as “PRESS” and had a helmet on when she was assassinated on 11 May while she was covering the occupation army’s storming of Jenin refugee camp.
READ: Forensic technical analysis of the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh