Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh killed by Israeli forces in Palestine: UN review

The UN said on Friday that its findings showed that the shot that killed TV journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11 was fired by Israeli forces.

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

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“We found that the shots that killed Abu Akleh came from Israeli security forces,” UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani 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 his colleague Ali Sammoudi came from Israeli security forces and not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians, as initially alleged by Israeli authorities,” she said.

She added that the information came from the Israeli military and the Palestinian attorney general.

“We did not find any information suggesting that there was activity by armed Palestinians in the immediate vicinity of the journalists,” Shamdasani said.

In accordance with its human rights monitoring methodology, the UN human rights office inspected photos, videos and audio materials, visited the site, consulted with experts, reviewed official communications and interviewed witnesses.

The findings showed that seven journalists arrived at the west entrance of the Jenin refugee camp just after 6am.

At around 6:30 am, when four of the journalists entered a certain street, “several apparently accurate 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 urged Israel to open a criminal investigation into the murder of Abu Akleh and into all other killings committed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and in the context of police operations in Gaza.

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