The Daily Telegraph

Israel offers apology for killing of journalist

- By Arthur Scott-geddes and James Rothwell

THE Israeli army has apologised for the first time for the killing of a prominent Palestinia­n-american journalist, but it has ruled out any further investigat­ion into her death.

Shireen Abu Akleh was a veteran television reporter who was killed while covering Israeli military raids in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army admitted for the first time yesterday that there was a “high possibilit­y” she was killed by one of its soldiers and offered its apologies. “The soldier is sorry, and I am sorry,” a senior official said. “This was not supposed to happen and it should not happen. He did not do this on purpose.”

The Israeli army had for months insisted it was impossible to determine who fired the fatal shot, saying it could have been militant gunfire.

But the senior official said yesterday: “The soldiers were not aware they were firing at journalist­s – they thought they were firing at militants firing at them.”

The admission is the closest the military has come to taking responsibi­lity for the shooting, but its refusal of a criminal investigat­ion has been criticised by the journalist’s relatives.

“Our family is not surprised by this outcome since it’s obvious to anyone that Israeli war criminals cannot investigat­e their own crimes,” they said in a statement.

The family reiterated its call for a “credible” US investigat­ion and a probe by the Internatio­nal Criminal Court.

“Israel’s killing of our dear Shireen cannot be swept aside – no other family should have to endure what our family has had to,” they said.

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