Israeli Defense Chief Calls FBI Probe Into Palestinian American Reporter’s Death ‘Grave Mistake’
Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz addresses ambassadors from European Union countries on October 19, 2022. (Ariel Hermoni/Israel Defense Ministry)

Israeli Defense Chief Calls FBI Probe Into Palestinian American Reporter’s Death ‘Grave Mistake’

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday that the US Justice Department’s decision to task the FBI with investigating the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was a “grave mistake” and that Israel would not cooperate in the probe.

Abu Akleh was shot and killed while she was reporting on an Israeli military arrest raid in Jenin in the northern West Bank on May 11. A Justice Department spokesman asked about Gantz’s reaction had no comment.

It remains unclear when the US Justice Department investigation may begin and what it will entail. FBI investigations into Israeli actions are unusual.

The US State Department has already reported on the incident, and Israel’s military carried out its own investigation. Both said it could not be known conclusively who killed the Al Jazeera journalist, but that most likely the fatal shot came from an Israeli soldier. A Palestinian forensic medical examiner likewise said he could not tell from an autopsy who fired the fatal bullet.

Abu Akleh’s family, the Palestinian Authority, and supporters, who accuse Israel of deliberately killing the 51-year-old reporter, were disappointed with the findings of the previous inquiries and have pressured the US government to launch a full investigation.

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