The Palestinian Attorney General, Akram Al-Khatib, announced yesterday that the investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, has revealed that Israeli forces “directly and deliberately” assassinated her.
Al-Khatib said that the Israeli army was fully aware of the presence of journalists in the area as they were all wearing flak jackets with the word “PRESS” on them as well as helmets, and that the Israeli soldiers had a “clear and direct view” of Shireen.
“It was clear that one of the [Israeli] occupation forces … had fired a bullet that hit journalist Shireen Abu Akleh directly in her head,” Al-Khatib said, adding that the Israeli army continued to shoot at anyone who attempted to rescue her.
He added that the investigation also revealed that “the only source of fire was from the occupation forces with the aim to kill” Shireen, stressing that all facts show that this is a “premeditated murder”.
Al-Khatib said the Palestinian Authority conducted its investigation into the killing of Shireen “independently” without external interference, adding that the American authorities were “briefed on the investigation”.
During the attack, another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali Al-Samoudi, was also wounded after being shot in the back, but he is in a stable condition. Al-Khatib said this amounts to “attempted murder”.
The autopsy and forensic examination conducted on Abu Akleh following her tragic death showed she was shot from behind, indicating that she was attempting to flee as Israeli forces continued to fire towards the group of journalists.
The Palestinian foreign minister has announced that the Palestinian Authority has formally asked the ICC to investigate Abu Akleh’s killing.
Two independent investigations by the Associated Press and the CNN have also arrived at the same conclusion as the Palestinian probe.
On Tuesday, the CNN said “an investigation by CNN offers new evidence – including two videos of the scene of the shooting — that there was no active combat, nor any Palestinian militants, near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death. Videos obtained by CNN, corroborated by testimony from eight eyewitnesses, an audio forensic analyst and an explosive weapons expert, suggest that Abu Akleh was shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.”
Meanwhile, the Associated Press said its own investigation also concluded that Shireen was killed by an Israeli soldier.
Another investigation by the Bellingcat group; an investigative journalism group based in the Netherlands concluded that due to the Israeli forces’ proximity to the site where Shireen was standing, it is highly likely that she was hit by an Israeli soldier.
Israel assassinated Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 11 May while she was covering the occupation army’s storming of Jenin refugee camp. The 51-year-old was wearing a flak jacket clearly displaying the word “Press” and had a helmet on, but was still shot in the head by an Israeli sniper. Her colleagues were also shot at as they tried to rescue her.
Pallbearers at her funeral were also beaten with batons as Israel Police crackdown on her funeral procession as it travelled through occupied East Jerusalem.