UN renews call for international probe into Shireen Abu Akleh shooting death

People light candles during a vigil in memory of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot dead by Israeli forces during a military raid into Jenin on May 11, 2022

New York City (QNN)- The United Nations has renewed its call for an international probe into the shooting death of Palestinian-American journalist of Al Jazeera Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli forces while on duty in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in May.

“Our position on the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh is unchanged,” Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a press conference in New York when asked about the UN chief’s stance on an international probe into the circumstances surrounding the killing of Abu Akleh.

Haq added, “We still want this matter to be thoroughly investigated and for those responsible for the killing to be held accountable.”

On whether Guterres supports the International Criminal Court’s probe into the journalist’s killing in the occupied West Bank, Haq said, “We have been clear that we support the investigations that have been underway, and we want to make sure that they come to a result that is acceptable to all [concerned] parties.”

Despite wearing a protective helmet and blue bulletproof vest clearly marked as “PRESS,” the 51-year-old journalist was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the head while she was covering an Israeli military raid into the Jenin refugee camp on May 11, sparking international outrage and calls for accountability for attacks on journalists. The slain journalist covered events and Israeli aggressions in the occupied Palestinian territory for 25 years.

Multiple witnesses said that Israeli forces killed the veteran journalist. Reports by the investigative group Bellingcat, The Associated Press, CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times have also come to the same conclusion.

On June 24, the UN’s OHCHR also announced that information it had gathered showed that the bullets that killed Abu Akleh were fired by Israeli forces.

Spokesperson for the UN’s OHCHR, Ravina Shamdasani, told reporters in Geneva, “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.”

The CNN investigation in May said evidence suggests that the veteran journalist was killed in a “targeted attack by Israeli forces”.

A probe by the Palestinian Authority found that Abu Akleh was deliberately shot by Israeli forces.

On July 4, the Department of State acknowledged that the fatal bullet that struck Abu Akleh likely came from an Israeli forces position, but it framed the killing of the journalist as the unintentional “result of tragic circumstances”.

The US administration also said a “detailed forensic analysis” of the bullet concluded that it was too damaged to determine its source.

(Source / 22.08.2022)

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