UN attributes death of Christian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, to IDF shooting

According to the conclusions of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by a shot from the Israeli security forces. A version that Israel disputes. 

During'a press point in Geneva which was held this Friday, June 24, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that the Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed on May 11 by Israeli Defense Forces gunfire.

“All the information we have gathered – including official information from the Israeli army and the Palestinian attorney general – is consistent with the conclusion that the shots that killed Abu Akleh and injured his colleague Ali Sammoudi came from the forces of Israeli security forces and not indiscriminate Palestinian gunfire, as the Israeli authorities first claimed. »

“We found no information suggesting that there was activity on the part of armed Palestinians in the immediate vicinity of the journalists,” continued the OHCHR representative, adding that the organization “inspected photo, video and audio, visited the scene, consulted with experts, reviewed official communications and interviewed witnesses” to draw such conclusions.

She further claims that the “United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, continues to urge the Israeli authorities to open a criminal investigation into the murder of Abu Akleh and all other killings and injuries. serious crimes committed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and in the context of law enforcement operations in Gaza".

According to OHCHR, since the beginning of the year, Israeli security forces have killed “58 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 13 children”.

“International human rights law requires a prompt, thorough, transparent, independent and impartial investigation into any use of force resulting in death or serious injury. The perpetrators must be held accountable,” concluded Ravina Shamdasani.

Le Times of Israel reports that a few hours after the UN statement, the Israeli army issued a statement entitled "Where is the bullet" in which it rejects the conclusions of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, saying in particular that this investigation is biased. The Israel Defense Forces again urged the Palestinian Authority to hand over the bullet that killed the journalist to them for analysis.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Shutterstock / Phil Pasquini

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