Killing the Messenger

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Israeli soldiers fired the shots that killed veteran Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh last month, found a probe by the United Nations, Haaretz reported over the weekend.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it had conducted its own “monitoring” of the incident – refraining from using the word “investigation” – and had examined photos and videos, visited the scene of the shooting and interviewed witnesses.

The organization determined that the shots that killed the Al Jazeera journalist and injured her colleague Ali Sammoudi were fired by Israeli soldiers, “not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians.”

Abu Akleh was killed in May during an Israeli raid in the West Bank as, according to the Israeli military, Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen exchanged fire. Her death sparked international outrage.

Palestinian officials said their investigation found that the journalist’s death was the result of a bullet used by Israel’s armed forces. They accused Israel of “deliberate murder.”

Israel denied the allegations. The Israeli Defense Force insisted the journalist “was not intentionally shot by an IDF soldier and that it is not possible to determine whether she was killed by a Palestinian gunman shooting indiscriminately in her area or inadvertently by an IDF soldier.”

The IDF maintained that it was committed to investigating Abu Akleh’s death and urged the Palestinian authorities to share access to the bullet that killed her.

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