How Shireen Abu Akleh died: IDF offers two scenarios

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One thing is certain about the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, the American-Palestinian journalist who was assassinated in Jenin on May 11: one side, Israel, has repeatedly called for a joint investigation with the Palestinians, and possibly with US representatives. , also, in her murder. Israel especially wants to study the bullet taken from her body and the helmet she was wearing at the time. The Palestinians, on the other hand, insist that IDF soldiers killed Abu Akleh, but refuse to show the bullet lodged in his skull for inspection by Israel and refuse to join Israel in any further investigation, claiming that the case is closed.

A report on the latest IDF statement, which provides two possible scenarios for the killing of Shireen Al-Akleh, is here: “IDF initial investigation into reporter’s death proposes 2 scenarios for who fatally shot.” israeli timesMay 13, 2022:

The army published on Friday the interim results of its investigation into the death of prominent Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed on Wednesday amid clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin.

The Israel Defense Forces said they had not yet been able to determine who fired the fatal shot. But he said he had narrowed down the possibilities to two scenarios.

In the first, Abu Akleh was hit when Palestinian gunmen fired “dozens of bullets indiscriminately” at military vehicles in the northern West Bank city. The IDF said the bullets were fired in the direction where Abu Akleh was standing, adding that it was “possible that this is the source of the shots that hit here.”

Other reports suggest that Palestinians indiscriminately fired not “dozens” but “hundreds” of shots at IDF vehicles.

The second scenario covered by the investigation involved a soldier who said the military used a gun with a telescopic sight to shoot an armed man through a crack in the armored vehicle he was traveling in.

The gunman fired volleys at the IDF soldier several times and there is a possibility that the reporter was hit by the soldier’s fire towards him. [him]an IDF statement said.

Abu Akleh was about 200 meters from the vehicle at the time, according to the army.

The IDF said a “professional ballistic test” could be decisive in determining how Abu Akleh was shot, but noted that the Palestinian Authority has so far rejected Israeli requests to conduct a joint investigation and examine the bullet. He said the Palestinians also turned down offers to be present and participate in the investigation along with a US representative.

It is important to realize that only one side, the Palestinian side, is blocking a thorough investigation. If they are so sure that the Israelis are responsible for Abu Akleh’s death, why are they so reluctant to present evidence? And why do they continue to refuse to give the Israelis access to the bullet that killed her? Why, even the Palestinians’ own forensic expert, Dr. Rayyan al-Ali, publicly admitted that at the time there was no way to be sure who killed Abu Akleh.

Abu Akleh, who covered the Middle East conflict for more than 25 years, was shot dead in the head while covering clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen during a military raid in Jenin. The death drew international condemnation, although it is still unclear who is responsible.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “executing” it and rejected Israeli calls for a joint investigation to determine responsibility. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have stated that it is too early to determine who fired the bullet that killed her.

Mahmoud Abbas goes a step further in his indictment of what others in the Palestinian Authority have done so far. He does not simply say that “an Israeli soldier killed Abu Akleh.” That may be true; at this point we can’t know, and we won’t know until the bullet is produced and tested. Abbas introduces a suggestion of assassination, saying Israel deliberately “executed” her, turning what was an accident into a war crime. Such an accusation will lead, as Abbas knows, to more insane violence by Arabs against Jews in the West Bank, more denunciations and votes condemning Israel as guilty of war crimes at the UN, more social media campaigns against “Zionist killers” ” who are trying to stop journalists from covering their “atrocities” in the “occupied West Bank” by murdering them.

His coffin was brought to Jerusalem from Ramallah on Thursday, following what was described as a full state memorial at Abbas’s Ramallah compound, with officials, foreign diplomats and a long line of mourners in attendance.

Shireen Abu Akleh is becoming a Palestinian martyr, a saint, a true Joan of Arc, starting with the full state memorial service in Ramallah, with all kinds of high officials and foreign dignitaries on hand to pay tribute to this victim of Palestinian terror. Israeli state. . To ensure that even larger crowds were mobilized, her coffin was taken to Jerusalem, where many more thousands gathered, the international media were there to record the event, and Abu Akleh entered the pantheon of Palestinian martyrs.

An initial autopsy of Abu Akleh’s body by Palestinian forensic doctors found that it was not possible to tell whether she was killed by Israeli or Palestinian gunfire.

That “it was not possible to know whose shots killed her” was the only truthful admission from the Palestinian side. It did not come from Mahmoud Abbas or any other Palestinian Authority official, but from the top Palestinian coroner, Dr. Rayaan Al-Ali, who dared to speak the truth: “At this point, we just can’t tell.” Whether he will be punished, possibly demoted, for admitting this remains to be seen.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday that the Palestinian Authority was impeding efforts to investigate the incident.

Qatari-owned Al Jazeera accused Israel of deliberately killing her and vowed to take legal action. Reporters who were with her said there were no armed Palestinians in the area.

There were no “Palestinian gunmen in the area,” just as there were no Israeli soldiers in the immediate area. Both the gunmen and the soldiers exchanged fire some 200 meters away from where Abu Akleh was. Abu Akleh was also about 200 meters from the Israeli armored vehicle at the time he was shot, according to the Israeli military.

This is how the US can help get to the truth, assuming the Bidenites care about that. Antony Blinken can publicly request an investigation by forensic experts from three parties (Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United States) into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. Blinken should insist that such experts “must be allowed to study, and ballistically test, the fatal bullet” which “I am sorry to say the Palestinian Authority has so far refused to produce.” And “those experts must also be provided with the helmet that the journalist was wearing when she was shot.

There can be no certainty or resolution until such an investigation is permitted. We sincerely call on the Palestinian Authority to release that bullet for study. So far, the Palestinian Authority has rejected Israeli requests to conduct a joint investigation and examine the bullet, even with a US representative present. We trust that the Palestinian Authority, in the interest of getting to the truth, will reconsider its current refusal to participate in such an investigation.

That should be enough pressure on the Palestinian Authority to decide to cooperate. After all, he doesn’t want to appear to be hiding something essential to the investigation, that bullet, nor does he want, at this point, to antagonize the Biden Administration, which he depends on for desperately needed financial aid.

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