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Gantz says terrorists to blame for Abu Akleh killing

Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Palestinian terrorists should be blamed for the death of US-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, after the US said that Israeli troops likely fired the fatal shot even though a forensic examination of the bullet was inconclusive.

“During this operational event, like in many others, hundreds of bullets were fired at IDF troops, which responded with firepower of their own, only in the direction of the sources of the shooting,” he says in recorded remarks in English. “The first to bear responsibility in such events are the terrorists who operate from within population centers.”

Despite the US conclusion, Gantz says that “it is not possible to determine the source of the shooting – and as such, the investigation will continue.”

“The defense establishment is committed to uncovering the truth,” he adds.

He notes that troops operate while taking every precaution possible to defend civilians and journalists.

“This includes decisions regarding force build-up, operations, investigations and cooperation with partners such as this cooperation with our US partners, in order to uncover the truth,” he says.

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