After many denials and evading any responsibility for the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Israel has now stated that there is a “high possibility” that the journalist was “accidentally hit” by Israeli army fire. However, it also added that it will not be launching a criminal investigation into the matter. As enraging as this statement is, it also does not come as any surprise given the precedent that has been set by the Israeli occupying forces.

The results of this investigation were shared earlier this week on Monday as the Israeli authorities said that its soldiers had come under fire from Palestinian fighters at the scene, a claim that has not been corroborated by footage of the incident. To add insult to injury, the statement added that it is impossible to determine the exact source of the gunfire and that there still remains a possibility that Ms Akleh was “hit by bullets fired by armed Palestinian gunmen”.

The fact of the matter is that witnesses on the ground, Al Jazeera, and numerous investigations by the United Nations, human rights groups, and media organisations have found that an Israeli soldier shot Abu Akleh and that there were no Palestinian fighters at the scene when she was killed. It is evident that there was never any intention of conducting a proper investigation into this matter and that the Israeli authorities would once again put up a façade of due process being followed. Palestinian witnesses have told news sources that they were never contacted by Israel as part of the investigation.

This is just another attempt at obscuring the truth and gaslighting the victims of this tragedy. Israeli human rights group, B’tselem is right in saying that this killing is a consequence of the IDF’s outrageous open fire policy. This has been their modus operandi all along and many innocent Palestinians have lost their lives without even making it to the news. It took all this public and international pressure for Israel to hesitantly concede that one of its soldiers had been involved, yet it still managed to evade any responsibility for her death. The hope is that such crimes against humanity are not swept under the rug and that this issue is continuously amplified on all international and diplomatic forums until criminal action is taken against the perpetrator.