CNN investigations point to Israeli military responsibility

After the first conclusions of the preliminary investigation conducted by the Israeli army into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in mid-May in the occupied West Bank, the American channel CNN announced on Tuesday, May 24th, the collection of new evidence incriminating the Israeli defense.

The Al Jazeera news reporter, a 51-year-old Palestinian-American, is best known for her coverage of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. She had traveled to Jenin in the occupied West Bank on the morning of 11 May following armed clashes that erupted during a new Israeli army raid on a refugee camp in the city.

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These military interventions have increased since the beginning of April, after several attacks carried out by Palestinians in which Israelis and foreigners were killed. She was killed on Wednesday, May 11, by a live bullet wound to the head, Sherine Abu Aqleh. Eyewitnesses, Palestinian officials and his employer accused the Israeli army of being behind the shooting.

The Israeli defense is almost completely dismantled

The latter, as well as the Israeli government, has defended this vigorously. The Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, even confirmed that the responsibility for Palestinian militants In the ‘Unfortunate death of a journalist’ It was “likely to”. For his part, the preliminary investigation proved that if one of these soldiers had fired the bullet that killed Mme Abu Okla, was not shown to be guilty of a crime, especially because the journalist was at the time of his death, “In the middle of a fierce combat zone”.

A defense that a CNN investigation — notably from two location videos, audio analysis and expertise of an explosive weapons specialist — has been almost completely dismantled. More: The US channel even claims that the journalist was They were killed in a targeted attack It was carried out by the Israeli army.

Several videos viewed by CNN show four journalists—Sherine Abu Oqla, Shatha Hunaisheh, Mujahid Al-Saadi, and Al Jazeera producer Ali Al-Samudi—conversing with residents, drawn by their presence near the roundabout. The entrance to Jenin refugee camp. They were all wearing flak jackets stamped with “press”. It was “A normal morning in Jenin”Residents testified to the chain.

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The atmosphere is calm in the videos, and no shots are heard before those who hit the journalist. Salim Awad, a camp resident who was near the reporters that morning, filmed a 16-minute video showing that the streets were quiet. He also claimed that there were no Palestinian gunmen or clashes taking place near the journalists.

Military vehicles were stationed 200 meters away

‘We faced the IDF vehicles for five to 10 minutes before moving forward, to make sure they saw us’One of the female journalists present, Shatha Hunaisheh, explains that it was a common technique for many reporters in the area to signify their identity to the military. In the video filmed by Mr. Awad, military vehicles can be seen from a distance, with a clear view of the position of the group of journalists. “We saw four or five military vehicles on that street with their rifles sticking out, and one of them shot Shireen.”says the resident young man.

Other videos, studied by CNN, show the same vehicles from different angles. This visual evidence includes images from a camera mounted on the back of an Israeli soldier. We clearly see five military vehicles parked one behind the other on the same street where the journalist was killed, just south of her position.

CNN asked Robert Maher, a professor and forensic expert in acoustic analysis, to estimate the distance between him and the shooter, based on footage recorded by an Al Jazeera cameraman – who filmed the entire scene except for the moment the bullet hit the journalist – the distance between him and the shooter. . In the video, the first sound, coming from the shock wave at the start of the bullet, is followed by a “bang” 309 milliseconds later, when the bullet hit its target.

“This corresponds to a distance that can range from 177 to 197 metres.”According to Maher, the distance between the group’s vehicles and the army’s vehicles is approximately. The CNN team determined the geographical location of the Israeli forces, which was confirmed by the Israeli preliminary investigation report.

Targeted attack, not random shots

Palestinians carry the body of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, May 11, 2022, in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The final information revealed by CNN comes from studying the traces of bullets fired on a group of reporters left on the trunk of a tree the journalist was standing at the foot of. Chris Cobb Smith, a security consultant and British Army explosive weapons expert, says Shireen Abu Okla was killed in a series of separate shots, not an automatic blast.

The number of bullet holes in the tree trunk […] Proves that it wasn’t a random shot, it was targeted.”, Mr. Cobb Smith told CNN. At a distance of about 200 meters, there was “There is no chance”he said, such that a random explosion would result in three or four shots hitting the same narrow target, such as a tree trunk.

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This analysis also refutes the Israeli argument that the journalist was hit by Palestinian fire.

Video clips, dating back to the same day, document many acts of violence, showing Palestinian men making random streets in different places in Jenin.

these The photos were released by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s OfficeThe latter claimed that the video suggested it “It was the Palestinian terrorists who killed the journalist”. However, CNN located these images south of Jenin camp, more than 300 meters from the site of Abu Aqla. Information that allows the channel to confirm that these Palestinian shots that the Israeli government uses to defend it cannot be the ones that hit the journalist and her group.

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