Israel will not cooperate with any external investigation into the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday.
Media reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has opened an investigation into the killing of the Palestinian-American reporter, who was shot while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in May, wearing a protective press vest. and helmet.
“The US Department of Justice’s decision to investigate the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a serious mistake,” Gantz said in a statement.
The US Department of Justice and the FBI declined to comment on the reports.
The circumstances surrounding Abu Akleh’s killing remain highly disputed.
Israel’s military said in September that she was likely accidentally shot by an Israeli soldier but that she could also have been hit by Palestinian fire.
Palestinian officials and Abu Akleh’s family have said they believe she was deliberately killed by Israeli forces and have rejected Israeli claims that there were militants around where she stood.
Other eyewitness accounts of the incident have disputed that Israeli positions were under fire from the area where Abu Akleh was standing when she was killed.
One of the most recognizable faces to report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for two decades, Abu Akleh’s death sparked outrage around the world, particularly after police beat mourners at her funeral in Jerusalem.
“It’s been six long months of my family and I advocating for accountability and justice,” her niece Lareen Abu Akleh said in a video posted on Twitter on Nov. 11. “We continue to pursue every possible avenue for accountability and we have hope that one day we will see justice for Shireen.”