Israeli NGO says Palestinians killed journalist, not Israeli soldier

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“It is clear that the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) terrorist gangs in Jenin are more intelligent shooters who should be suspected and held accountable for the death of a reporter,” said Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, president of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center. suit, Fox News Digital said.

“Abu Mazen (Abbas) must also answer for his responsibility for the terrorist attacks of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in general and for the murder of the late Abu Akle.”

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel and the European Union, is the armed wing of the Fatah movement. Fatah is the ruling party in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the dominant faction in the PLO. Abbas is simultaneously president of the PA, chairman of the PLO and chairman of Fatah.

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Mourners hold a banner depicting slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shirin Abu Akle as they walk from Jerusalem's Old City to her burial site May 13, 2022.

Mourners hold a banner depicting slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shirin Abu Akle as they walk from Jerusalem’s Old City to her burial site May 13, 2022.
(AP Photo/Ariel Shalit)

Al Jazeera reporter Shirin Abu Akle was killed on May 11 during an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raid to root out terrorists in Jenin operating under the auspices of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, also a terrorist organization recognized by the US, EU and Israel.

The IDF raid followed Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel. The death of Abu Akle, a US citizen, has led to widespread speculation as to who killed the journalist during the violent shootout, with accusations that she was deliberately hit by Israeli forces, which they vehemently deny.

The controversy arose a week before President Biden’s scheduled visit to Israel and the region, with the tragic death of Abu Akle seen as a growing point of contention with the Palestinians as a result of US Department of State analysis.

“A forensic examination conducted by independent independent experts as part of a process overseen by the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC) was unable to reach a final conclusion as to the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shirin Abu Akle.” noted on the State Department website. “Ballistics experts determined that the bullet was severely damaged, which did not allow a definite conclusion.”

However, the same forensic analysis, which critics say contradicts the lack of knowledge about the origin of the deadly bullet, suggests that the bullet was likely fired from an IDF position.

According to a State Department statement, “Shooting from IDF positions likely caused the death of Shirin Abu Akle. The USSC found no reason to believe this was intentional.”

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The Jerusalem Post reported that the result is likely to lead to friction. between President Biden and Abbas before their scheduled meeting in Bethlehem next week.

“The Biden administration has deceived us,” a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah told the Post. “We thought they were going to conduct an independent and professional investigation. Instead, they fully supported the Israeli version.”

A poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Nablus.  Abbas is expected to meet President Biden next week in the West Bank.

A poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Nablus. Abbas is expected to meet President Biden next week in the West Bank.
(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Fox News Digital sent press requests to the PA and to its United Nations office, but received no response as of press time.

Shurat HaDin said it welcomes the results of the independent US forensic examination, according to which “ballistics experts determined that the bullet (provided by the PA) was badly damaged, which did not allow a definite conclusion.”

The NGO also noted that “due to the dubious chain of custody of the bullet, which was [initially] is withheld by the PA, there are two options regarding the authenticity of the bullet that was supplied by the PA to the US team: if it is an original bullet, then the PA, having its own ballistics experts, has known for months that the bullet cannot incriminate Israel and is deliberately withheld in order to make Israel the scapegoat for the reporter’s death.”

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The second possibility, Shurat HaDin continued, is that “this is not a real bullet, but a bullet that cannot be traced, was deliberately provided by the Palestinians to the investigation team.”

Dueling lawsuits are currently taking place at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. The International Federation of Journalists is a partner in a complaint filed against Israel over the death of Abu Akle, the Palestinian Chronicle reported Tuesday.

“U.S. authorities should not rest until those responsible for the death of Palestinian American journalist Shirin Abu Akle are identified and held accountable,” said Sheriff Mansour, program coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa for Committee to Protect Journalistshe said on Tuesday.

An Israeli army checkpoint controls a street leading to the West Bank city of Jenin on April 12, 2022.

An Israeli army checkpoint controls a street leading to the West Bank city of Jenin on April 12, 2022.
(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Shurat HaDin said it disclosed “new information about the circumstances leading up to the Jenin incident” in its complaint to the ICC.

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The IDF acted at the personal request of Abbas to refrain from entering Jenin. [refugee] presumably to allow PA security forces to take control of the area, the group said. AAMB [Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades] and the Islamic Jihad terrorist group was established, creating a joint Jenin Battalion that was involved in the firefight during the incident.”

In April, Raad Hazem, a 28-year-old Palestinian from Jenin, killed three people and injured six others in a crowded bar in Tel Aviv. The attack follows a series of other terrorist attacks across Israel in March that killed 11 people.