Since the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh yesterday morning, Israeli officials have been trying to shift blame onto Palestinians instead of Israeli occupation forces.
According to Arab48, Israeli journalist Barak Ravid said that Israeli media officials met half an hour after Abu Akleh’s targeting and decided to try to change international headlines.
On Twitter Ravid wrote that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had said in a statement: “According to the information Israel has gathered ‘it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were indiscriminately firing at the time — were responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist.’”
Ravid said that Bennett based his claim on a video which he shared on social media. However, Ravid said, Shireen does not appear in the video at all, and the video which was aired by Al Jazeera showing Shireen lying on the ground is clearly taken in a different place. This weakens the Israeli claims, he added.
When Israel realised that Shireen was an American citizen, the seriousness in its dealing with the killing increased, he said.
“One and half a month before the potential Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, this incident could cause a big rift with the American administration,” Ravid said.
He expected that the Democratic Congressmen might use this to prove that Biden does not put enough pressure on Israel, citing Biden’s pressure placed on former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli army struck a high rise in Gaza that included AP offices.
Ravid also said that the killing of Shireen would reiterate the position of the Palestinians who view the Israeli occupation similar to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the world must deal with both issues similarly.
Senior Israeli officials believe the occupation state can now only decrease the damage to its reputation, not end it, he explained.
For his part, Israeli journalist Amos Harel wrote to Haaretz: “Israel’s evasion, coupled with its failure to provide evidence for its claims, are only bolstering the Palestinian narrative of the incident.”
He also wrote: “Soldiers from the elite Duvdevan Unit fired a few dozen bullets during the raid in Jenin, the investigation shows, but whether it was Israeli or Palestinian gunfire that killed the Al Jazeera reporter is unknown.”
Harel reiterated: “Wednesday evening saw feverish rounds of communication between Israel and the Palestinian Authority regarding whether the bullet removed from Abu Akleh’s body would be turned over for examination in Israel.”
“Meanwhile, some Israeli officials appear not to understand the gravity of the situation.”
Israel yesterday assassinated Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was covering the occupation army’s storming of Jenin refugee camp. Abu Akleh was wearing a flak jacket clearly displaying the word ‘press’ and had a helmet on, however a sniper bullet entered her head from her ear, killing her. Colleagues around her were also shot at when they tried to rescue her at the scene.
The United Nations, US, UK and EU have called for a thorough investigation into 51-year-old’s death.