On Monday, the Israeli army said that there is "a high possibility" that Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by errant Israeli fire during a fire exchange in the occupied West Bank, according to a military investigation into the case.
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Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank on May 11. She was then wearing a vest marked "Press" and a helmet.
At least five separate investigations carried out by the United Nations and several international media outlets have found that the shot that killed Abu Akleh was fired by Israeli soldiers. Israel said a special task force has concluded "a series of investigations" into the case but could not "unequivocally determine the source of the gunfire."
The Army acknowledged that there was "a high possibility" that Abu Akleh was "accidentally" hit by Israeli gunfire that "was fired toward suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen, during an exchange of fire in which life-risking, widespread and indiscriminate shots were fired toward Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers."
In a separate statement, the Israeli Military Advocate General's office said that its findings did not amount to criminal reasonability. Although there is "a high probability" that Abu Akleh was shot by Israeli troops, the circumstances of the incident "do not raise the suspicion of a crime having been committed which would justify the opening of a criminal investigation."
"There was no suspicion that a bullet was fired deliberately at anyone identified as a civilian... In the light of the nature of the operational activity , which included extensive exchanges of fire of a clear combat nature, no immediate criminal investigation was opened," it said.
On Monday, however, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) denounced Israel's report on the death of journalist Abu Akleh as "a new attempt to evade responsibility for that murder."
The ANP recalled that eyewitnesses assured that there were no Palestinian militiamen in the area where the journalist was. It also mentioned that independent investigations by international media, NGOs, and UN agencies corroborated this.