Israeli army says ‘high probability’ soldier killed reporter

The Israeli military on Monday announced the long-awaited results of its investigation into the deadly shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, saying there was a “high probability” an Israeli soldier had mistakenly killed her during a raid in the occupied West Bank last May.

The Palestinian-American, 51, who worked for Al Jazeera, was killed in May when she was hit in the head by a bullet during an army raid on the Jenin refugee camp situated in the West Bank.

This statement is the closest that Israel has come to accepting responsibility for the shooting. The army previously said it was impossible to determine the source of the shot. Abu Akleh was wearing a bulletproof vest marked “Press”. The army also said that no one would be punished for the shooting.

Such conclusions are unlikely to put to rest an issue that has worsened what already were badly strained relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Both Palestinian officials and Abu Akleh’s family accused the army of evading responsibility for her killing.

“Our family is not surprised by this outcome since it’s obvious to anyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigate their own crimes. However, we remain deeply hurt, frustrated and disappointed,” her family said in a statement.