The Israel Defense Forces has apologized for the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a year to the day after she was killed by a bullet to the back of the head while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
It is the first time the IDF has apologized for the killing of the well-known correspondent, after conceding last year that there was a “high possibility” she was shot by an Israeli soldier.
The apology came from the IDF’s chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, in an interview with CNN’s Eleni Giokos on Connect the World on Thursday.
“I think it’s an opportunity for me to say here that we are very sorry of the death of Shireen Abu Akleh,” he said.
“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 war time, even if they criticize us,” he said.