(Photo credit: Times of Israel)
Israel’s Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, stated on 7 September that no one would dictate to Israel its open-fire policies after global repudiation has fallen upon Tel Aviv for the murder of Al-Jazeera’s Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqla.
The US State Department released a statement on 6 September to press Israel on the issue and demand accountability.
While Israel and the US have found ‘no definitive conclusion’ on the origin of the bullet that murdered Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqla, recent reports conclude that she was murdered by an Israeli bullet.
“I will not allow an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldier … to be prosecuted just to receive applause from abroad,” said Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid during his visit to a naval base.
Lapid went on to express that “no one will dictate opening fire instructions to us” and that “our [Israeli] fighters have the full backing of the Israeli government.”
Backing Lapid’s speech, alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides that the “American intervention in Israel’s rules of engagement is a dangerous and unacceptable precedent.”
Speaking on behalf of the US State Department, Vedant Patel, told reporters that the US will “continue to press our Israeli partners to closely review its policies and practices on rules of engagement and consider additional steps to mitigate the risks of civilian harm, protect journalists, and prevent similar tragedies in the future.”
Renowned Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqla Nasri was shot in the head by Israeli occupation troops while covering an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank; she was pronounced dead on 11 May.
The Al-Jazeera correspondent, Abu Aqla, was wearing a clearly visible press bullet-proof jacket and a helmet. This leads many to believe that an Israeli soldier aimed the fatal shot to kill the journalist.
Israel claims that its troops were allegedly responding to Palestinian resistance gunfire. However, Al Jazeera confirmed the authenticity of a video depicting the events preceding the murder of Abu Aqla by Israeli occupation troops in June. The video corroborated the eyewitness accounts that there were no clashes in the area as the journalists prepared to cover Israeli raids in Jenin, West Bank.