RAMALLAH, Tuesday, July 5, 2022 (WAFA) - The State of Palestine rejected the United States' dismissal of the Israeli occupying forces' intentional targeting of Palestinian journalists on 11 May 2022, which resulted in the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and injury of Ali Sammoudi, as mere "tragic circumstances" and not an intentional war crime.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement last night that the context in which the crime took place as well as forensic examination of the General Prosecutor of the State of Palestine and several independent reports concluded that the Israeli occupation soldiers intentionally targeted Shireen Abu Akleh along with other journalists.
“No amount of vagueness or politicization can exonerate the killers, whitewash the crime, or hide the truth,” said the Foreign Ministry. “This whitewashing will only further institutionalize Israel's entrenched impunity, continue to deny the Palestinian people any justice, and threaten the safety and lives of journalists in Palestine. It will also have a negative impact on the safety of journalists worldwide.”
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement yesterday that following a study of the bullet that killed Abu Akleh and doing its own investigation, the "US Security Coordinator (USSC), could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion."
Price added that “the USSC concluded that gunfire from IDF (Israel army) positions was likely responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh,” but that it “found no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances.”
The State of Palestine, said the Foreign Ministry, in its pursuit of justice for Shireen Abu Akleh and all Palestinian victims, “will continue undeterred with its efforts at the international level, including the International Criminal Court, to hold those who ordered and provide cover for this established trend of criminality accountable for their crimes.”