Jerusalem24 – Israel will not launch a criminal investigation into the killing of the US-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, which Palestinian officials and witnesses have blamed on Israeli soldiers.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces claimed that because Abu Akleh was killed in an “active combat situation”, an immediate criminal investigation would not be launched, although an “operational inquiry” would continue.
However, recent video evidence capturing the moments leading up to Abu Akleh’s death shows that the area was calm and quiet, with no armed actors nearby, other than a group of Israeli soldiers.
The decision by the Israeli military advocate general, Maj Gen Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, not to order an investigation by the military police criminal investigation division marks a departure from the majority of recent incidents involving IDF shootings of civilians in the occupied West Bank, which have been followed by investigations.
Israeli NGO Yesh Din criticized the decision not to investigate, saying, “The army law enforcement mechanisms no longer even bother to give the appearance of investigating.”
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported today Monday that the Israeli army opened only one criminal investigation into events that took place during its attack on Gaza in May 2021, out of a total of 84 incidents which it had determined potentially warranted investigations.
Incidents that occurred during military operations in Gaza are investigated by a team from the IDF Staff, which was formed in 2014.
According to data collected by Yesh Din, investigations have not been completed in 58 incidents, and that 10 of them are being reviewed by the Military Prosecution. 25 investigations have ended and they were closed.