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Al Jazeera blames Israel for reporter's death, but video suggests Palestinians to blame

Palestine has refused to work with Israel to investigate her death

May 11, 2022 6:59pm

Updated: May 11, 2022 9:27pm

Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh died from gunfire Wednesday while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin, a Palestinian-controlled city and terror hotbed that has seen near-daily raids in recent weeks due to a rise in attacks on Israel.

While Al Jazeera quickly blamed Israel, without proof, for Abu Akleh's death, statements from Israel as well as video evidence suggest Palestinian militants may be to blame.

"Palestinians killed the journalist," British Center for Middle East Studies and Research Regional Head Amjad Taha tweeted as translated with a video of Palestinians with weapons and military gear running through the streets of Jenin. 

A militant randomly shoots and someone yells, "We hit a soldier, he's lying on the ground," in Arabic. No IDF soldiers were shot on Wednesday, the day Abu Akleh died.

Israel offered to participate in a joint investigation into the Al Jazeera Palestine correspondent's death, but Palestinian authorities have refused to work with them.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Abu Akleh was likely killed by Palestinian gunfire.

Video shows armed militants accompanying Abu Akleh's body draped in a Palestinian flag. Her funeral has been delayed to Thursday and will be in the capital of Ramallah to allow Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to attend.

Al Jazeera said in a translated statement that she was "in cold blood, assassinated."

Network producer Ali Al-Samudi was shot in the back during the incident and is currently being treated, Al Jazeera said. 

Leftist U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), whose parents are Palestinian immigrants, blamed Israel without providing proof as well.

"When will the world and those who stand by Apartheid Israel that continues to murder, torture and commit war crimes finally say: 'Enough'?" she posted on Twitter. "Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered by a government that receives unconditional funding by our country with zero accountability."

Fellow so-called "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) also blamed Israel. 

"She was killed by the Israeli military, after making her presence as a journalist clearly known," she wrote, adding, "What will it take for accountability for these human rights violations?"

With 19 Israelis dead from terrorist attacks over the past month, Prime Minister Bennett said the raids were part of a series of counter terrorism operations. 

"Based on preliminary information that we have, there is a significant possibility that the journalist was shot by the armed Palestinians. However, to uncover the truth, there must be a real investigation, and the Palestinians are currently preventing that. Without a serious investigation, we will not reach the truth," Bennett stressed.

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