The United Nations Human Rights Office released a statement on Friday saying that it concluded its review of the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, which revealed that the shots came from Israeli forces.
“All information we have gathered – including official information from the Israeli military and the Palestinian Attorney-General – is consistent with the finding that the shots that killed Abu Akleh and injured her colleague Ali Sammoudi came from Israeli Security Forces and not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by Israeli authorities,” U.N. Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.
From this information, the U.N. office found that the journalists avoided the location of armed Palestinians inside the camp, and made their presence visible to the Israeli forces deployed.
Once the journalists moved slowly down the street, wearing bulletproof helmets and flak jackets with “PRESS” markings, several single bullets were fired towards them from the direction of the Israeli Security Forces. After Abu Akleh was killed, several bullets were also fired as an unarmed man attempted to approach Abu Akleh’s body, continuing on until he eventually managed to carry her away.
Israel has repeatedly dismissed the findings of outside investigations that blame the Israeli forces for the killing, describing them as biased. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz also said that a ballistic examination of the bullet from which she was hit is required to reflect the reality of the circumstances.
Abu Akleh’s death came in light of the large-scale Israeli raid on the city of Jenin, located on the West Bank. On 9 April, Israeli forces launched a raid on a refugee camp located in Jenin after attacks on Tel Aviv were identified to have originated from Jenin.