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UN panel finds journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli fire

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The United Nations said Friday that their findings showed that the shot that killed Al Jazeera TV journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11 was fired by Israeli forces.

The Palestinian-American journalist, who wore a vest marked “Press” and a helmet, was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli army operation in the Jenin camp in the northern West Bank.

“We are discovering that the shots that killed Abu Akleh came from Israeli security forces,” Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the United Nations Human Rights Agency, told reporters in Geneva.

“It is deeply disturbing that the Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation.

“We at the UN Human Rights Office have completed our independent monitoring of the incident.

“The shots that killed Abu Akleh and wounded her colleague Ali Sammoudi came from Israeli security forces and not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by Israeli authorities,” she said.

She added that the information came from the Israeli military and the Palestinian Attorney General.

“We have found no information to indicate that armed Palestinians were active in the immediate vicinity of the journalists,” Shamdasani said.

Memorial held for murdered journalist Shireen Abu Akleh


In line with its methodology for human rights monitoring, the UN Rights Agency inspected photographic, video and audio material, visited the site, consulted experts, reviewed official communications and interviewed witnesses.

The findings revealed that seven journalists arrived at the western entrance of Jenin refugee camp shortly after 6 a.m.

At about 6:30 a.m., as four of the journalists pulled into a particular street, “several single, apparently well-aimed bullets were fired at them from the direction of the Israeli security forces.

“A single bullet wounded Ali Sammoudi in the shoulder; another single bullet hit Abu Akleh in the head and killed her instantly.”

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has urged Israel to open a criminal investigation into the Abu Akleh murder and all other killings by Israeli forces in the West Bank and in the context of law enforcement operations in Gaza.


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