According to Palestine’s attorney general, the result of a recent investigation says Israeli forces shot Al Jazeera’s Abu Aqleh intentionally.
The results of a newly carried out investigation by the State of Palestine revealed that the Palestinian-American journalist Shereen Abu Aqleh was shot and killed deliberately by the Israeli soldiers.
It was this Thursday that reporting on the findings of a Palestinian Authority (PA) investigation into the killing of Abu Aqleh, Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said: “It was clear one of the [Israeli] forces … had deliberately fired a bullet that hit journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh directly in her head while she was attempting to escape.”
Al-Khatib also told reporters in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that the 51-year-old Abu Aqleh “was wearing an armor-piercing bullet, a helmet and a vest that was clearly marked with the word “PRESS” while she was shot” and killed. “The only source of firing was by the occupation forces with the aim to kill,” he also added.
The PA’s investigation was based on interviews with witnesses of the crime, an inspection of the scene, as well as a forensic medical report issued after the incident.
One of such witnesses was Ali al-Samoudi, another Al Jazeera journalist who was with Abu Aqleh the day of the incident and was even wounded by a bullet in the back at the scene. “We were going to film the Israeli army operation and suddenly they shot us without asking us to leave or stop filming,” said al-Samoudi while in hospital last week.
“The first bullet hit me and the second bullet hit Shireen … there was no Palestinian military resistance at all at the scene,” he also added.
Another eye witness was Shatha Hanaysha, a local journalist who was standing next to Abu Aqleh when she was shot; “We were four journalists, we were all wearing vests, all wearing helmets,” Hanaysha said, adding that “the [Israeli] occupation army did not stop firing even after she collapsed. I couldn’t even extend my arm to pull her because of the shots being fired. The army was adamant on shooting to kill.”
Israel’s recount of the story, apparently not true!
The result of the above-mentioned investigation, which is quite strong and evidence-based, goes drastically in contrast with the story that the Israeli officials told about the incident.
A day after Abu Aqleh was shot dead, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement saying, “According to the information we have gathered, it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist.”
However, Al-Khatib said according to the findings of the investigation, there was no Palestinian fighter even close to the scene of the shooting. He also noted that “the Israeli forces were able to see Abu Aqleh and other journalists, who were all clearly marked as members of the press.”
Besides the statement issued by Israel’s PM, there was no immediate response to the shooting from any other Israeli official.
Of course, a military prosecutor in Israel called on the army to conduct an in-depth investigation to make things clear in this regard. But it was last week that Israeli media said in a report that the military had no plans to start any sort of criminal investigations whatsoever.
Abu Aqleh was one of the most respected on-air correspondents of the past two decades in Palestine. She was famous mostly because of her efforts to document the harsh realities of life in Palestine under Israeli military occupation.