To the anger of the Israeli government, the American FBI still claims its own investigation in the notorious death this spring of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Abu Akleh, 51, who worked as a correspondent for TV channel Al Jazeera and also had American nationality, was shot dead near Jenin in the West Bank on May 11.
Secretary of Defense Benny Gantz spoke of a “serious mistake” on Tuesday of the Americans and said that Israel would not cooperate with such an investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We will not tolerate any interference in Israel’s internal affairs,” said outgoing Gantz, who said he remains firmly behind the army. According to Gantz, the Israelis themselves have sufficiently investigated the matter.
The disagreement comes at a sensitive time. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who came out as the election winner together with extreme right-wing parties, is trying to form a cabinet with these ultra-nationalist parties, which want to act hard against the Palestinians. Washington has already hinted that it would have difficulty cooperating with a cabinet of that nature. New conflicts between the two countries therefore seem inevitable.
Also read: Journalist Al Jazeera shot dead ‘in cold blood’
Abu Akleh was shot dead by an Israeli soldier, according to eyewitnesses, even though she was wearing a high-visibility vest and helmet, which clearly stated she was from the press. The Palestinians also stated that she had been killed by an Israeli soldier. Israel initially suggested she had been hit by a Palestinian gunman. Under pressure, it launched an investigation. That also concluded that Abu Akleh “probably” killed by an Israeli soldier. Military spokesmen said that Israeli soldiers had been fired upon by Palestinians from various sides during the incident. Nonsense, declared Israel’s critics, according to them, video evidence shows that no shots were fired from the Palestinian side at that time.
It comes as a surprise that the US is starting a new investigation. They previously conducted an investigation, after which the State Department concluded this summer that the bullet probably came from an Israeli rifle. This would have happened unintentionally.
Urge family and US senators
However, Abu Akleh’s family and others continued to push for a deeper investigation. According to them, Abu Akleh was indeed deliberately shot. Twenty Democratic senators also continued to demand a new investigation. Veteran Patrick Leahy told his Senate colleagues that “Israel has a history of shootings by Israeli army soldiers that rarely result in accountability.” He hinted that the US might have to cut the military aid Washington has traditionally provided to Israel.
Senator Chris Van Hollen welcomed the US decision on Monday in a tweet as “an overdue but necessary and important step.” Also Abu Akleh’s family is happy with the decision.
#Israel #furious #FBI #investigation #Palestinian #journalists #death
Leave a Reply