Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz Photo: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD

Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded to the Palestinian Authority's announcement that its investigation concluded that IDF soldiers deliberately shot and killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh in Jenin about two weeks ago.

"The State of Israel offers its condolences following the death of Shireen Abu Aqleh. The IDF is conducting an ongoing investigation into the matter in order to reveal the truth. Any claim that the IDF intentionally harms journalists or uninvolved civilians, is a blatant lie," Gantz said.

"The IDF is operating against murderous terrorism, which in recent weeks has claimed the lives of 20 people. Many of the terrorists who conducted the attacks came from the Jenin area, which is where the incident took place. We always act with precision, targeting terrorists and taking measures to avoid harm to civilians. We will continue operating in this manner.

"Investigations and briefings are not carried out at press conferences, but rather in closed rooms, and while transmitting information.

"Despite multiple requests from Israel, the Palestinians refuse to cooperate, which raises the question of whether they really want to uncover the truth.

"Even today, I call on the Palestinian Authority to hand over the bullet and all their findings. To this day, we are prepared and willing to conduct an investigation in collaboration with international actors.

"He who believes in himself, is unafraid. Anyone who conducts counterterrorism operations while avoiding harm to civilians, would want to know the truth and would consider what can be done to save human lives.

"Unilateral investigations and attempts to charge IDF soldiers with war crimes while promoting false assessments such as the one published by CNN, undermine the ability to achieve peace and stability in the region, while ultimately boosting terrorism.

"The IDF is a moral military. I would like to express my support for our soldiers. I am proud to lead a security institution that operates everywhere, at all times, in order to protect the citizens of the State of Israel,” Gantz concluded.