FBI opens probe into Shireen Abu Akleh killing, Israel vows non-cooperation

FBI opens probe into Shireen Abu Akleh killing, Israel vows non-cooperation
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has vowed that Tel Aviv will not cooperate with external investigations into Shireen Abu Akleh's killing, calling the US Department of Justice's decision a 'mistake'.
2 min read
14 November, 2022
Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces in May 2022 [Getty]

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has opened an investigation into the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Israel confirmed on Monday.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz condemned the probe as a “grave mistake” on Twitter, vowing that Israel "won't cooperate with any external investigation."

Palestinian officials, Abu Akleh’s family and Al Jazeera accuse Israel of intentionally targeting and killing the 51-year-old journalist, a US citizen who was wearing a helmet and a protective vest marked with the word 'press' when she was shot last May in the occupied West Bank.

Israel initially denied responsibility, claiming that Palestinian fighters had shot the veteran journalist. In September, Israel conceded that Abu Akleh had likely been shot by one of its soldiers.

Six months on from the killing, no individual has been held responsible.

Last week, Abu Akleh's family attended a rare public hearing at the UN in Geneva, where they told investigators that she was deliberately targeted as part of Israel's "wide-scale war" on Palestinian media workers.

The hearings are being hosted by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) created by the UN Human Rights Council last year to probe the root causes of the decades-long Middle East conflict.


Abu Akleh's family have also called for an independent investigation into the killing, calling on the International Court of Justice.

Israel says it has conducted its own investigation, however no action has been taken against any Israeli soldier.

Israeli military investigations have long drawn criticism from rights groups and Palestinians who charge that they are not independent or effective, citing a low indictment rate.