Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) stands by the flag-wrapped coffin of Palestinian-American Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a state funeral at the president's residency headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 12. Photo by Mohammad Tamim/UPI | License Photo
May 19 (UPI) -- Israel's military said it has no plans to open a criminal investigation into the death of a Palestinian American journalist for Al-Jazeera who was shot while reporting on an Israeli raid at a Palestinian refugee camp last week.
Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, was shot in the head in the city of Jenin, in the West Bank, as she covered the Israel Defense Forces' raid amid clashes between IDF and Palestinian gunmen.
The veteran journalist had covered the conflict in the Middle East for more than 25 years.
"In view of the nature of the operational activity, which included intense fighting and extensive exchanges of fire, it was decided that there was no need to open a Military Police investigation at this stage," a statement from the IDF to the Jerusalem Post read.
The statement said the decision not to investigate the events surrounding Abu Akleh's death was made "in accordance with the Judea and Samaria investigative policy, as approved by the Supreme Court, according to which it does require the opening of a criminal investigation into the death of a Palestinian during operational activity with real combat, unless there is real suspicion of a criminal offense," the Post reported.
Abu Akleh's death received widespread international attention, with the IDF and Israeli policy facing criticism.
The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of killing her, but the IDF's interim investigation could not determine whether she was shot by Israeli or Palestinian gunfire, Haaretz reported.
Journalists participate in a candlelight vigil to condemn the killing of veteran Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 11, 2022. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo