Israel said on Monday that it will not cooperate with the United States’ investigation into the killing of the Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli army.
Akleh was allegedly shot in the head on May 11 when she was covering an Israeli raid in Jenin. The city lies in the West Bank, which was captured by the Israeli military in 1967 during the Mideast War.
While Al Jazeera had alleged that the Israeli forces deliberately shot Akleh, Tel Aviv denied the claims.
On Monday, the US Justice Department informed its counterpart in Israel that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will investigate Akleh’s killing, reported The Guardian.
The FBI investigation into the killing of the journalist comes after pressure from Akleh’s family and members of the US Congress.
“The decision taken by the US Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the tragic passing of Shireen Abu Akleh, is a mistake,” Israel’s Minister of Defence Benny Gantz tweeted on Monday. “The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] has conducted a professional, independent investigation, which was presented to American officials with whom the details were shared.”
In June, an investigation by the United Nations had concluded that Akleh was not near Palestinian gunfire when she was killed and that Israeli forces were almost certainly responsible. The UN said that Israeli soldiers fired “several single, seemingly well-aimed bullets” at Abu Akleh and other journalists.
The Israeli military had alleged that the Palestinian gunmen were responsible for the journalist’s death. However, in September it admitted that one of its soldiers had probably shot Akleh but said there would be no criminal prosecutions because no laws had been broken and declared the case closed.