Friday, 01 Mar 2024

Israel Defense Forces apologizes for death of Al Jazeera's Shireen Abu Akleh for the first time


Israel Defense Forces apologizes for death of Al Jazeera's Shireen Abu Akleh for the first time

The Israel Defense Forces has apologized for the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a year to the day after she was killed by a bullet to the back of the head while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

It is the first time the IDF has apologized for the killing of the well-known correspondent, after conceding last year that there was a "high possibility" she was shot by an Israeli soldier.

The apology came from the IDF's chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, in an interview with CNN's Eleni Giokos on Connect the World on Thursday.

"I think it's an opportunity for me to say here that we are very sorry of the death of Shireen Abu Akleh," he said.

"She was a journalist, a very established journalist. In Israel we value our democracy and in a democracy we see high value in journalism and in a free press. We want journalists to feel safe in Israel, especially in war time, even if they criticize us," he said.

The apology comes days after The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) published a report that said it had found no accountability was taken by the Israeli military over its killings of at least 20 journalists over the past two decades.

The press advocacy group said it had documented at least 20 journalists killed by Israeli military fire since 2001, adding 18 of those killed were Palestinian. "No one has ever been charged or held accountable for these deaths," it said in the press release.

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