Women hold pictures of Shireen Abu-Aqlah
Women hold pictures of Shireen Abu-Aqlah Flash90

Following the statement made by the United Nations Human Rights Office, the IDF once again reiterates its call to the Palestinians to share access to the bullet with which the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed.

"The Palestinian Authority cooperates with Israel on investigations from time to time", the IDF statement read, "The Palestinians' refusal to transfer the bullet and hold a joint investigation with American representation is telling of their motives".

"It should be noted that this was an operational event during which an exchange of fire occurred between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen during counterterrorism activities in Jenin", the IDF notes.

In the IDF statement it is emphasized that ever since the incident, the IDF has been investigating and reviewing the circumstances of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death. "The IDF investigation clearly concludes that Ms. Abu Akleh was not intentionally shot by an IDF soldier and that it is not possible to determine whether she was killed by a Palestinian gunman shooting indiscriminately in her area or inadvertently by an IDF soldier".

"The IDF regrets harm to non-combatants", the statement continues, "including during exchanges of fire and active combat situations, and is heavily invested in maintaining the movement and freedom of the press. The IDF will continue to pursue the truth and investigate this tragic event".

The UN report reads: " All information we have gathered – including official information from the Israeli military and the Palestinian Attorney-General – is consistent with the finding that the shots that killed Abu Akleh and injured her colleague Ali Sammoudi came from Israeli Security Forces and not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by Israeli authorities. We have found no information suggesting that there was activity by armed Palestinians in the immediate vicinity of the journalists."

"In accordance with our global human rights monitoring methodology, our Office inspected photo, video and audio material, visited the scene, consulted experts, reviewed official communications and interviewed witnesses."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has published his own dismissal of the report:

‏"Once again I express my condolences following the death of journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh. Her loved ones deserve to know the truth behind her tragic death - and we may only uncover the truth by conducting a thorough ballistic, forensic investigation and not through unfounded investigations such as the one published by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights."

"‏The IDF operates day and night to thwart bloodthirsty terrorists who seek to conduct terror attacks and murder Israeli citizens. At the same time the IDF takes all the possible measures to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians. In addition, the IDF conducts thorough investigations."

"‏IDF troops came under heavy gunfire during the events that lead to Shireen’s death, and responded accordingly."

"‏I once again call on the Palestinian Authority to deliver the bullet that hit Shireen, to the State of Israel. That is what must be done in order to uncover the truth."

"‏IDF troops have my full backing to continue operating in order to ensure the security of Israel’s citizens.”

Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman likewise rejected the report: "I do not know on the basis of what investigations the UN Human Rights Commission has determined that al-Jazeera journalist was killed by IDF gunfire but this is a disgusting statement that can not be accepted by us. The State of Israel offered solutions that could have ended this event but unsurprisingly the other side was uninterested. Their strange considerations do not interest me. The IDF should continue to operate secure in the knowledge of the full backing of it's command and political structures."​​​​