Israel Reportedly Launches Probe Into Whether IDF Soldier Actually Killed Al Jazeera Journo
© AP Photo / Mahmoud IlleanFamily, friends and colleagues of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh carry her coffin to a hospital in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Thursday, May 12, 2022.
© AP Photo / Mahmoud Illean
On Wednesday, a journalist working for Al Jazeera in the West Bank was killed and her colleague was injured by gunfire. The network and Palestinians claimed the journalists were shot by Israeli snipers, while Jerusalem initially claimed that militants were "probably" responsible.
According to an anonymous Israel Defense Forces officer, the country's military is examining the likelihood that the fatal shot was fired by one of its soldiers a day after a Palestinian-American journalist was killed during an Israeli raid in a West Bank city, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
After the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, a correspondent for the Al Jazeera news station, and the injury of her producer in the Jenin Refugee Camp on Wednesday, the military reportedly launched a probe of the three different shooting incidents involving its forces.
According to the report, the military was investigating a gunfight between Israeli soldiers in a vehicle and one or more armed Palestinian males who were shooting at it. The incident reportedly took place about 150 meters from where Abu Akleh was slain.
It was "the more probable to be involved in the death of Shireen" of the three occurrences under investigation, the source in the IDF said. "A soldier with a rifle and a very good aiming system was shooting toward a terrorist with an M16, in very good condition, very clear picture, that was shooting on our troops. What we are checking now is the location of Shireen."
The source went on to say that military investigators had taken the guns from the Israeli service personnel involved in the incident so they could undergo ballistics tests.
Al Jazeera and Palestinian authorities claimed Israel was to blame for Abu Akleh's death in the hours after she was killed. These claims were supported by the Washington Post, which said that witnesses they had interviewed stated that there had been no shooting in the Al Jazeera work area.
After the death of the reporter, Israel announced that it is seeking to initiate a joint probe with the Palestinian Authority, which would be overseen by US officials.
Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al Sheikh described the killing as an "assassination" on Thursday. He reportedly said that the Palestinian Authority has refused to cooperate with Israel in the investigation, claiming that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh had been transported to An-Najah University in Nablus for initial ballistics analysis.
Sheikh reportedly added that the Palestinian Authority would inform Abu Akleh's family and the general public, as well as the US, Qatari, and other relevant agencies, of the findings of the investigation.
And as for the fatal bullet, it remains unknown to date what caliber was used in the shooting.