The FBI’s decision to probe the death of a Palestinian-American journalist in Israel has prompted anger from the Israeli government, which accused the Biden administration of interfering in its internal affairs.
The FBI announced it was conducting its own investigation into the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who worked for Al Jazeera. Akleh was killed during a shootout between Israel Defense Forces and Palestinians on May 11 in Jenin, a hotbed of Palestinian terrorism.
“The IDF is a moral and ethical army,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid declared. “IDF soldiers and their commanders defend the state of Israel. The IDF thoroughly investigates any irregular event and is committed to the values and laws of democracy.”
“Our soldiers will not be investigated by the FBI or by any other foreign country or entity, however friendly it may be,” continued Rapid, who will soon be replaced by Benjamin Netanyahu. “We will not abandon our soldiers to foreign investigations. We have conveyed our strong protest to the United States.”
“I made it clear to the American representatives that we stand behind the IDF’s soldiers, that we will not cooperate with any external investigation and we will not allow interference in Israel’s internal affairs,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, noting that Israel had investigated the incident and passed along its information to the Biden administration. He added that the FBI investigation into “the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a grave mistake.”
The Israeli investigation found that Abu Akleh might have been accidentally hit by IDF gunfire but it was not possible to ascertain with any certainty just where the gunfire came from. “It also added that the fire was directed toward suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen during an exchange of fire in which life-risking, widespread and indiscriminate fire was directed toward IDF soldiers,” Israel HaYom reported.
The IDF’s consistent intent to avoid unnecessary bloodshed was amply demonstrated in September, when Major Bar Falah was murdered by Palestinian terrorists. A member of the IDF noticed two Palestinians lying near the security fence near Jenin, The IDF Search and Rescue Brigade fired a stun grenade to catalyze the Palestinians to flee.
“The military suspected the two were planning to ambush troops stationed at the nearby post, and waited after first being detected in order to find a more opportune moment for an attack,” The Times Of Israel reported.
The IDF reportedly asked permission to open fire, according to the Jerusalem Post, but because they could not be completely certain the suspects were carrying weapons, that request was denied; the Israeli soldiers reportedly asked for permission to approach the suspects in an armored jeep; that was denied.
The soldiers approached the Palestinians on foot; the Palestinians opened fire, mortally wounding Falah. The terrorists were killed in a subsequent gun battle. One terrorist turned out to be an intelligence officer in the PA security services and had a submachine gun and semiautomatic weapon.