JERUSALEM: The Israeli army has conceded for the first time since May that it is likely Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by an Israeli soldier who mistook her for a militant.

“There is a high possibility that Ms Abu Akleh was accidentally hit by IDF (Israel Defence Forces) gunfire that was fired toward suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen,” said the army’s final investigation report on Monday.

“Our conclusion is that it’s not possible to determine unequivocally which gunfire killed her, but there’s a higher probability that she was hit by an errant shot of an IDF soldier who did not identify her as a journalist,” a senior Israeli military official said.

The official told reporters that soldiers were under heavy fire and aimed to hit Abu Akleh because they had mistaken her for a Palestinian fighter. “When they fired in her direction they didn’t know she was a journalist, it was a mistake, they thought they were firing at terrorists shooting at them,” the official said.

“He’s sorry about it and I’m sorry about it too,” the official said of the soldier who killed Abu Akleh.

“He didn’t do it on purpose, it’s totally clear,” he added.

A UN investigation concluded in June that there was “no evidence of activity by armed Palestinians close by” when Abu Akleh was shot.

Abu Akleh was wearing a bulletproof vest marked “Press” and a helmet when she was shot in the head during the Israeli army operation on May 11.

The Abu Akleh family said on Mon­day Israel had “refused to take responsibility for the murder” of the journalist, in a press release issued in the wake of the Israeli army’s report.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Border clashes
19 May, 2024

Border clashes

THE Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier has witnessed another series of flare-ups, this time in the Kurram tribal district...
Penalising the dutiful
19 May, 2024

Penalising the dutiful

DOES the government feel no remorse in burdening honest citizens with the cost of its own ineptitude? With the ...
Students in Kyrgyzstan
Updated 19 May, 2024

Students in Kyrgyzstan

The govt ought to take a direct approach comprising convincing communication with the students and Kyrgyz authorities.
Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...