An investigation by The Washington Post negates the Israeli military’s efforts to deflect blame for Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder last month, while hinting at Tel Aviv’s bid to withhold vital evidence in the case.
The Post published the results of the probe on Sunday, citing “multiple eyewitnesses,” reviews of numerous videos, and independent acoustic analyses of the gunshots. The daily also examined social media posts and photos of the event, and conducted two physical inspections of the scene.
The incident, during which the renowned Palestinian journalist was killed by shots to her head, took place in the city of Jenin in the northern part of the occupied West Bank on May 11. It sent shockwaves throughout the international community and initiated numerous calls for accountability on the part of the occupying regime.
The Post’s probe found that at the time of the incident, the sniper was situated about 182 meters (600 feet) away from Abu Akleh—just where an Israeli convoy had been deployed that morning.
The paper refutes the Israeli military’s version that claims the shots were directed towards a Palestinian gunman, who was allegedly standing between the Israeli forces and the journalist. It says the military has not released any evidence pointing to the presence of a gunman.
The Israeli military is also sitting on tons of evidence, including footage from drones and body cameras, the paper notes.
The daily also debunks the Israeli military’s claim that Abu Akleh was killed during “an exchange of fire,” citing eyewitnesses, who have said there was no firefight at the time.
The witnesses include Ali al-Samoudi, the producer for Al Jazeera, who was also shot by the sniper. “It was totally calm, there was no gunfire at all,” Samoudi says.