(Photo credit: CJPME)
The family of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla released a statement on 4 July expressing their disappointment at the US State Department for saying their probe “could not reach a definitive conclusion” regarding the bullet that killed Abu Aqla.
Statement by our family. We will continue to call for justice and accountability and call upon the UN and ICC to take immediate action in order to bring justice. This doesn’t end here. #JusticeforShireen pic.twitter.com/n0EoMmvRRY
— Lina Abu Akleh (@LinaAbuAkleh) July 4, 2022
“After an extremely detailed forensic analysis, independent, third-party examiners … could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqla,” the US State Department claims.
US officials go on to add that they “found no reason to believe” that the murder of Abu Aqla by an Israeli sniper was intentional, instead calling it “the result of tragic circumstances.”
The family of the late Palestinian-American journalist called these findings “insulting to Shireen’s memory,” and said they ignore “the history and context of the brutal and violent nature of what is now the longest military occupation in modern history.”
Shireen Abu Aqla was murdered by Israeli forces on 11 May while wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest clearly labeled PRESS.
In the hours following the murder, her colleagues revealed in no uncertain terms that Israeli troops opened fire on them indiscriminately.
An independent investigation by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) last month revealed that Abu Aqla and her fellow journalists made a concerted effort to be visible as members of the press to Israeli soldiers, who were carrying out a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.
The OHCHR findings also showed that the Israeli soldiers continued firing at the journalists even after they had already killed Abu Aqla.
According to Palestinian news agency WAFA, at least 55 Palestinian journalists have been killed since 2000, with no one ever being held responsible.
Just two days after Abu Aqla’s murder, Israeli shock troops brutally attacked mourners at her funeral procession, beating attendees and pallbearers carrying the coffin, which was draped in the Palestinian flag.
#Palestine Israeli occupation forces harass Palestinians during the burial of Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu Aqla. pic.twitter.com/nrteefydKz
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) May 13, 2022
Last month, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that an internal investigation into the attack against unarmed mourners concluded that — despite evidence of misconduct — no police officers would be punished.
“We will continue to advocate for justice for Shireen, and to hold the Israeli military and government accountable, no matter the attempts to obfuscate the reality of what happened on 11 May,” the statement by Abu Aqla’s family concludes.