Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot on Wednesday while covering an IDF raid into Jenin which encountered heavily armed Palestinian terrorists. Though the circumstances and precise cause of her death are still undetermined, many media and even US politicians have blamed Israel.
“It cannot be determined whether [Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh] was killed by Israeli fire or by a Palestinian bullet,” Palestinian Forensic Medicine Institute Director Dr. Rayyan al Ali said during an appearance on Channel 12 on Wednesday. Ali emphasized that the findings were only preliminary and that it could not be definitively determined from how far away the bullet was shot, but that it was not from close range. A Palestinian pathologist was quoted in the media as saying that she had suffered a cerebral laceration and skull fractures. The Palestinian Authority on Thursday declined a request to let the bullet be assessed in an Israeli laboratory under international supervision. The IDF has records of all the soldiers involved in the operation and the weapons they carried so inspection of the bullet may be able to eliminate the possibility that it was fired by the IDF.
An initial, internal IDF probe reportedly found that though she was likely standing near armed terrorists, Israeli troops did not fire at her.
“Palestinians fired extensively at our forces, firing wildly and indiscriminately in every direction,” IDF Chief of Staff, Major General Aviv Kochavi told the press. “Unlike the Palestinians, IDF soldiers carry out professional and selective firing … at this stage it is not possible to determine from which shot she was hit.”
“According to the information we’ve gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were indiscriminately firing at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement Wednesday. Israeli officials, including the IDF and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, released a video showing a man firing down an alley and people running in the Jenin Refugee Camp, shouting about a soldier being hit.
Video analysis of the footage by Jewish Press revealed another Palestinian terrorist in this video firing from a rooftop.
Yet another video showed a number of terrorists armed with M-16s.
Additional unverified footage of the firefight between Palestinian militants and IDF troops in Jenin Wednesday morning. The footage suggests there are additional areas within the camp where militants fired on Israeli soldiers. pic.twitter.com/P73kWax0Ej
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) May 12, 2022
Video from directly after Abu Akleh’s shooting shows she was wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest with “press” written on it when she was shot.
The PA has also refused to take part in a joint investigation with Israel and the US. Channel 12 reported that the bullet in question is a 5.56×45mm NATO round, which is used by both Israeli troops and Palestinian terrorists for weapons, including M16 and M4 assault rifles.
Several sources have analyzed the videos, including The Israel Advocacy Movement.
Israel War Room also made a video analysis.
MUST WATCH: New analysis of footage from Jenin yesterday, where Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed, shows strong possibility Shireen was killed by Palestinian gunmen. pic.twitter.com/Zudz6xH82A
— Israel War Room (@IsraelWarRoom) May 12, 2022
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas again charged Thursday that Israel was responsible for the death and vowed to take the case to the International Criminal Court Hague.
This claim was picked up by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MICH):
When will the world and those who stand by Apartheid Israel that continues to murder, torture and commit war crimes finally say: “Enough”?
Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered by a government that receives unconditional funding by our country with zero accountability. https://t.co/c2yLpM7UC1
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) May 11, 2022
Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Herzog accused Palestinian-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib on Thursday of “rushing to a biased conclusion” after she said Israel “murdered” Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh.
One would expect a member of Congress to support our call for an impartial joint Israeli-Palestinian investigation of this tragic event, rather than rushing to a biased conclusion. Acting as the judge, jury and executioner undermines the causes of justice and peace. https://t.co/2GAYC1UZjK
— Ambassador Michael Herzog (@AmbHerzog) May 12, 2022
Tlaib was echoed by Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Ayanna Pressley:
She was killed by the Israeli military, after making her presence as a journalist clearly known.
We provide Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid annually with no restrictions.
What will it take for accountability for these human rights violations? https://t.co/MGSVc6jYXJ
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 11, 2022
The killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces is an attack on journalism and a devastating loss.
We must condemn it and ensure accountability and an independent investigation.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) May 12, 2022
Abu Akleh was buried on Friday without any independent forensic investigation. The ceremony was accompanied by wild gunfire.
Militants discharged their weapons as the body of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh was received in Qalandiya earlier today. pic.twitter.com/ZjrCnkid17
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) May 12, 2022
Born in Jerusalem, Abu Akleh, a Catholic Arab, spent time in the United States as a child and held US citizenship along with her Jerusalem residency card.