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May 12, 2023 8:23 am

IDF General Apologizes for Death of Abu Akleh on Anniversary of Her Killing

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IDF Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Gaby Portnoy, director general of the Israel National Cyber Directorate. Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit via Wikimedia Commons.

An Israeli general apologized for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh on Thursday in a CNN interview.

Abu Akleh was killed while caught in the crossfire during a gunfight between Israeli special forces and terrorists in Jenin, exactly a year ago.

“I think it’s an opportunity for me to say here that we are very sorry of the death of Shireen Abu Akleh,” said Brigadier General Daniel Hagari, the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) chief spokesman.

“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 wartime, even if they criticize us,” Hagari added.

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This is the first public apology over the death of Abu Akleh, after the IDF said it was likely she was killed by Israeli fire last year.

A veteran reporter and dual U.S. citizen, her death was originally blamed by Israel on Palestinian militants. Israel’s backtracking came after the Palestinians, U.S. media, and Biden administration said the bullet probably came from an IDF rifle.

Earlier, the Palestinian Authority inaugurated a museum in Ramallah to honor her on the anniversary of her death.

Last December, Al Jazeera submitted a case against Israel over her death in the International Criminal Court, although the court has not made any moves to bring it to trial.

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