Shireen Abu Aqla: Israel rejects US reporter death probe as mistake – BBC

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Israel has called the US Department of Justice's decision to investigate the killing of Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Aqla a "mistake".
Outgoing Defence Minister Benny Gantz said he had told US representatives that Israel would not co-operate.
The DoJ and FBI declined to comment, but Abu Aqla's family praised the "important step toward accountability".
The Al Jazeera correspondent was shot in the head during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank in May.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) concluded that one of its soldiers probably killed her, but called her death unintentional and ruled out a criminal inquiry.
Shireen Abu Aqla, who was 51, arrived in Jenin refugee camp on 11 May to report on an Israeli army raid which had seen gun battles break out between soldiers and Palestinian militants.
She was wearing a helmet and blue flak jacket marked with the word "press" when she was killed while walking along a road with other journalists, one of whom was also shot and wounded.
Journalists, bystanders and Palestinian officials said the gunfire came from Israeli troops stationed about 200m (656ft) away – allegations which was later backed by investigations by the UN Human Rights Office and multiple media organisations.
The US state department said in July that the US Security Co-ordinator (USSC) for Israel and the Palestinian Authority had concluded that "gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible for the death". He also found that there was "no reason to believe that this was intentional".
The IDF initially said that it was not possible to know who killed Abu Aqla. But in September a senior official told journalists that there was a high probability that she was shot "by mistake by an IDF soldier, and of course he didn't identify her as a journalist".
Abu Aqla's family heavily criticised both the USSC's and the IDF's findings and demanded that the US carry out an independent FBI investigation into the killing of a US citizen. Their call also received the support by dozens of members of the US Congress, including more than 20 Democratic senators.
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(July 2022) Shireen Abu Aqla's brother Tony (left): "It is very hard to live without her"
On Monday, Israel's Channel 14 TV and US website Axios reported that the US Department of Justice had recently notified the Israeli justice ministry that the FBI had opened an investigation.
Axios said the probe could lead to a US request to investigate the soldiers who were involved in the operation in Jenin, and that Israel would almost certainly reject it.
The probe is also likely to create further tension President Joe Biden's administration and Israel's incoming government, which will be led by Benjamin Netanyahu.
"The decision taken by the US justice department to conduct an investigation into the tragic passing of Shireen Abu Aqla is a mistake," said Mr Gantz in a statement.
"The IDF has conducted a professional, independent investigation, which was presented to American officials with whom the details were shared.
He added: "I have delivered a message to US representatives that we stand by the IDF's soldiers, that we will not co-operate with an external investigation, and will not enable intervention to internal investigations."
Abu Aqla's family said in a statement on Tuesday that they were "encouraged by the news".
"We hope that the United States will use all of the investigative tools at its disposal to get answers about Shireen's killing and hold those who are responsible for this atrocity accountable.
"We call on all parties with any evidence to respond to investigatory requests from the US States and not stand in the way of justice."
The family also expressed hope that the FBI investigation would be "truly independent, credible, and thorough, following the evidence where it leads, up and down the chain of command".
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