Israeli PM rejects calls to change army rules of engagement

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister appeared Wednesday to reject US calls for Israel to review its rules of engagement following the shooting death of a prominent journalist, saying no one “dictates our field policy.” said no.

The State Department said it would press Israel to review its policies after the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akure in May.US and Israel separately concluded She was most likely accidentally shot by an Israeli soldier Despite video footage showing there were no militants or clashes in her immediate vicinity at the time during the shootout with the Palestinians.

Speaking at the naval base, Prime Minister Yair Lapid expressed his sorrow over her death but appeared to rule out prosecutions or changes in Israeli policy.

“I will not allow Israel Defense Forces soldiers who defended themselves against terrorist attacks to be prosecuted just to receive applause from abroad,” he said, referring to the Israeli military.

“No one dictates our field policy when we are fighting for our lives. Our soldiers have the full support of the Israeli government and Israeli people.” He said.

Rapid, who serves as caretaker prime minister ahead of November elections, faces an uphill battle with nationalist rivals to prevent him from losing his post.

US State Department deputy spokeswoman Vedant Patel told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that the US will press Israel on the issue and demand accountability.

“We urge our Israeli partners to closely review their rules of engagement policies and practices and take additional steps to reduce the risk of harm to civilians, protect journalists, and prevent similar tragedies in the future. We will continue to pressure them to consider,” he said.

Israel launched nightly raids in the occupied West Bank after a series of deadly attacks by Palestinians killed 19 people last spring.

At least 90 Palestinians have died in Israeli fires this year, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Worst year since 2016 in occupied West BankMost appeared to have taken part in the clashes that occurred during the raids, but many civilians were also killed in the violence, including Abu Akure.

Israel says its soldiers are fighting armed groups targeting civilians and must make split-second decisions on the battlefield. Military rules of engagement allow soldiers on the battlefield to open fire when they realize their lives are in danger.

According to Israeli rights groups, soldiers interpreted these rules broadly, often using excessive force, Rarely held accountable for shooting civiliansPalestinians say the raid is aimed at preserving Israel’s 55-year military control over the territory they want for the future nation.

Abu Akure, a veteran Palestinian-American reporter, was killed on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. several independent studies, Including one from May by the Associated Pressconcluded that she was likely killed by Israeli forces.

Israel still claims that she may have been hit by Israeli or Palestinian gunfire, but that Palestinian militants fired at her, or that militants killed her when she was shot. He has not provided any evidence that he was in the vicinity of

Abu Akleh was with a group of journalists walking down the street after sunrise. They all wore helmets and protective vests that clearly identified them as media.

Israel said its own investigation found it was “highly likely” that she was shot by one of the soldiers inside the vehicle wearing a telescopic lens and misidentified her. The Army says the soldiers’ visibility was limited at the time, raising questions about the rules for burning fields.

He said no criminal investigation would be launched and neither soldiers nor commanders would be punished.

Klaus reported from Ottawa, Ontario.

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