Palestinian youths hold a mock funeral for slain Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in Gaza City on May 17, 2022
Israel’s army said Monday that if an Israeli soldier fired the bullet that killed Al Jazeera News Today Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, it did not appear that the soldier was guilty of criminal misconduct.
“Given that Ms Abu Akleh was killed in the midst of an active combat zone, there can be no immediate suspicion of criminal activity absent further evidence,” it said in a statement citing Military Advocate Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi.
Tomer-Yerushalmi will ultimately be responsible for determining whether any individual soldier faces disciplinary action over the fatal May 11 shooting during clashes in the occupied West Bank flashpoint of Jenin.
She stressed that Israel does not yet know whether Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American, was killed by stray Palestinian gunfire or by an Israeli bullet aimed at a Palestinian militant.
The army “is taking every effort to examine the circumstances of the incident in order to understand how Ms Abu Akleh was killed,” the statement said.
Qatar-based Al Jazeera has accused Israel of killing Abu Akleh “deliberately” and “in cold blood”.
Tomer-Yerushalmi restated Israel’s request to examine the bullet extracted from the body of the reporter.The projectile is in the Palestinian Authority’s custody.