The tragic death of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11 is still unresolved, primarily due to the Palestinian Authority refusing to facilitate investigations into her death. But this has not stopped anti-Israel politicians and media from claiming that an IDF bullet killed her.
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 from our country with zero accountability. https://t.co/c2yLpM7UC1
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) May 11, 2022
Echoing these two anti-Israel fringe members of the party, 57 House Democrats sent a letter to the State Department calling called for an FBI investigation into the death of Abu Akleh. It is highly unusual for the FBI to carry out an independent investigation of a US citizen killed overseas. The FBI would need to get permission from the host country, which, in this case, is further complicated by the PA’s nebulous status. Both Israel and the PA would have to request US assistance, and neither appears to have done so. Also, FBI jurisdiction doesn’t extend to non-terrorism-related homicides.
On Tuesday, CNN joined in by publishing an article claiming that they carried out an investigation concluding the journalist was killed by the IDF in a “targeted attack.”
The CNN report cited an explosive weapons expert, forensic analysis, witness testimony, and video analysis from the scene, concluding that there was no gunfire from terrorists when Abu Akleh was killed.
The CNN report did not present a video. It did, rather, analyze the audio from videos filmed near where Abu Akleh was shot. Forensic audio experts told CNN that the audio indicated that shots came from about 200 meters away.
CNN then cited Chris Cobb-Smith, who they identified as a security consultant, and a British army veteran the network identified as a firearms expert. Cobb-Smith looked at photos of bullet markings left on a tree just where Abu Akleh was hit and said they were indicative of controlled, targeted shots rather than stray bullets.
CNN did not identify Cobb-Smith as being part of Amnesty International and his numerous articles condemning the IDF. In a 2009 article written for Amnesty International, Cobb-Smith accused the IDF of looting and using Palestinians as human shields.
From the marks on the tree, Cobb-Smith concluded that the IDF had intentionally targeted Abu Akleh.
“The number of strike marks on the tree where Shireen was standing proves this wasn’t a random shot; she was targeted,” he said while noting that evidence of Palestinian fire during the exchanges showed “random sprays.”
It should be noted that both the IDF and the Palestinian terrorists used M-16 automatic weapons, firing a .556 round. Videos from the battle clearly show Palestinian terrorists firing wildly without sighting their weapons, firing around corners, and firing on automatic. Bullets fired from an M-16 can travel well over 1,000 meters.
It should also be noted that if the IDF were able to inspect the bullet, they would be able to identify the rifle from which it was shot. But the PA will not allow Israel to inspect the bullet. The P.A. has refused Israel’s requests to hold any form of a joint investigation into the matter.
“From the strike marks on the tree, it appears that the shots, one of which hit Shireen, came from down the street from the direction of the IDF troops. The relatively tight grouping of the rounds indicates [s] Shireen was intentionally targeted with aimed shots and not the victim of random or stray fire.”
Ironically, Cobb-Smith’s observations were concerning the shots that missed Abu Akleh and not the shot that killed her.
CNN cited two videos that showed Palestinian gunmen firing haphazardly down alleyways in different parts of Jenin. A terrorist is heard in the video saying in Arabic, “They’ve hit one — they’ve hit a soldier. He’s lying on the ground.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett noted that no IDF soldiers were injured in the incursion, implying that the casualty referred to was Abu Akleh. Citing conclusions by the anti-Israel extremist left-wing NGO Betselem, CNN discounted that the casualty was Abu Akleh but failed to indicate who was the casualty.
The report interviewed five Palestinians as eyewitnesses but did not include interviews with any representatives of the IDF or the Israeli government.
The IDF responded to CNN, stating that the claim of a deliberate shooting of reporters was baseless and that there can be no conclusive findings as to the origin of the shot that killed Abu Akleh without examining the bullet removed from her body.
“The IDF expresses its condolences for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh and calls on the Palestinian Authority to cooperate in a forensic inquiry together with representatives of the United States to reach a definitive conclusion,” the military said in a statement.
“The IDF has been operating in the Jenin area to apprehend terror suspects after 11 Israeli civilians were killed in attacks perpetrated by residents of Jenin and its surrounding villages and to prevent further attacks. Palestinian gunmen indiscriminately fired hundreds of rounds at troops turning the Jenin camp into an active warzone,” the IDF said.
“Without a serious and professional investigation, it is impossible to conclude where the fire originated. Such a probe must be done meticulously and based on evidence,” the IDF statement read.