Israel’s military chief has walked back assertions made earlier that Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh may have been killed by stray bullets fired by Palestinian fighters.
Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi said it was now unclear who fired the shot that killed Abu Akleh on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin.
“At this stage, we cannot determine by whose fire she was harmed and we regret her death,” he said, according to news reports.
The Israeli army initially raised the possibility that the veteran Al Jazeera journalist might have been killed by Palestinian gunfire, saying armed fighters were also present in the area at the time the journalist was shot.
Releasing a video earlier on Wednesday showing Palestinians firing in an alley at the Jenin camp, the Israeli army said the video was meant to bolster its contention that armed Palestinians were firing in the area at the time
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also shared a tweet with a video clip appearing to show armed Palestinian fighters who he said had claimed to have shot a soldier. Because no Israeli forces were hurt on Wednesday, he said that suggested the gunmen had shot a journalist instead.