Politics, Americas, Middle East

Israeli premier shoots down US request to revise army rules of engagement

After probe pointing to likelihood of Israeli gunfire killing Palestinian journalist, US asked Tel Aviv to review rules of engagement 'policies and practices'

Zain Khalil  | 08.09.2022 - Update : 08.09.2022
Israeli premier shoots down US request to revise army rules of engagement


Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid rejected US calls to the Israeli army to change its rules of engagement after the results of an investigation on the shooting of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

"No one will dictate our rules of engagement to us when we are fighting for our lives," Lapid said on Wednesday at a navy officers' graduation ceremony.

"I will not allow an IDF (Israeli army) soldier that was protecting himself from terrorist fire to be prosecuted just to receive applause from abroad," he added.

Lapid, however, expressed "sorrow" over Abu Akleh's death, alleging that at the incident of her shooting "there was heavy enemy fire."

On Tuesday, US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said the Biden administration continues "to press Israeli partners to closely review its policies and practices on rules of engagement and consider additional steps to mitigate the risks of civilian harm, protect journalists, and prevent similar tragedies in the future."

The Israeli army said on Monday that there was a "high possibility" that the Palestinian journalist was killed by "wrong gunfire" from an Israeli soldier shooting at Palestinian gunmen during clashes.

Abu Akleh was killed on May 11, and the Palestinian Health Ministry said she was shot in the head while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Several leading media agencies, including Al Jazeera, CNN, the Associated Press, Washington Post, and New York Times, conducted their own investigations, which all came to the conclusion that Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli bullet.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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