Israel ‘Deliberately Murdered’ Journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, Palestinian Probe Reportedly Finds

© AFP 2023 / Al JazeeraAn undated handout photo released by the Doha-based Al-Jazeera TV shows the channel's veteran journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh (Akleh) during one of her reports from Jerusalem.
An undated handout photo released by the Doha-based Al-Jazeera TV shows the channel's veteran journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh (Akleh) during one of her reports from Jerusalem. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.05.2022
An investigation by the Palestinian Authority is the latest to confirm what many observers have insisted for weeks: Israeli forces intentionally targeted journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, which constitutes a war crime under international law.
Palestinian Authority officials announced Thursday that they’ve established that Israeli forces ‘deliberately murdered’ acclaimed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh when she attempted to seek cover from Israeli fire. The news came following a two-week investigation into the grisly killing of the Al-Jazeera reporter, who died after being shot while covering an Israeli raid on a Palestinian refugee camp on May 11th.
Highlighting the PA’s official findings Thursday, Palestinian Attorney General Akram Al-Khatib explained that Israeli forces fatally shot Abu Aqleh in the head with a 5.56 mm armor-piercing bullet. Al-Khatib cited the presence of an iron fragment used in special armor-penetrating ammunition discovered during the autopsy of her body, which was carried out at the Forensic Medicine Institute of Al Najah University in Nablus.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz reacted with fury to the announcement, describing the investigation’s findings as a “crude and blatant lie.” Gantz later took to Twitter to insist “the Palestinians refuse to cooperate” before demanding Palestinian officials “hand over the bullet and [their] findings” to Israel. But, for the first time, Gantz conceded the Israelis would be “willing” to participate in an unspecified “investigation in collaboration with international actors.”
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2022
Al Jazeera Reporter Shireen Abu Akleh Killed by Israeli Soldiers in West Bank, Network Says
On May 19th, the Israeli army's Military Police Criminal Investigation Division declined to open an investigation into the killing–a decision which Israeli newspaper Haaretz claimed stems in part from “the belief that such an investigation, which would necessitate questioning as potential criminal suspects soldiers for their actions during a military operation, would provoke opposition and controversy within the IDF and in Israeli society in general.”
After first insisting Abu Aqleh was killed by errant fire from armed Palestinian nationalists, Israeli authorities have since acknowledged the possibility that she was killed by Israeli Defense Forces.
Multiple independent investigations–including those carried out by CNN, the AP, and B’Tselem–have all suggested Israeli forces were behind the killing of Shireen Abu Aqleh. But Israel’s Gantz has been similarly dismissive of their findings, seemingly accusing CNN of pushing “false assessments,” and declaring that “any claim that the IDF intentionally harms journalists or uninvolved civilians is a blatant lie.”
But it’s almost impossible to conclude anything else, according to Palestinian officials.
"The only source of fire in that place came from the occupation forces with the intention to kill," Al-Khatib said Thursday. Likely speaking for the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, the Attorney General flatly declared that “this represents a war crime.”
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