Eventually the mountain gave birth to the mouse. As was widely announced by now, the solution to the murder of the Palestinian-American journalist of Al Jazeera, Shireen Abu Akleh, has not reached a definitive solution. According to the investigation conducted by American experts who arrived on purpose from Washington, the bullet delivered to them by the Palestinian Authority and extracted from the body of the killed correspondent is too damaged to bring to a definitive conclusion on the responsibility for the incident. But, say the American experts, the responsibility for the murder by the Israeli army is “probable”.
Shireen Abu Akleh on the morning of May 11 in Jenin, in the West Bank, was following an Israeli army raid. Jenin has long been a thorn in the side of security authorities with the Star of David. In fact, most of the perpetrators of the attacks that in the past months in eleven days have killed 14 people in Israel come from here. In response, the army has organized numerous actions in the West Bank against terrorists, supporters and suspected such, which have claimed twenty victims. Following the attacks carried out in Israeli cities, the Israeli Defense Force, the army of the Star of David, carried out numerous raids in the West Bank against alleged terrorists, their supporters and family members.
That morning, as on other occasions, Shireen, with collaborators and colleagues was in the suburbs of the Palestinian city following the operations of the army, when after the explosion of gunshots, she collapsed to the ground. A bullet had killed her, despite the fact that she wore a flak jacket with the word “PRESS” clearly visible and a helmet. According to ballistic investigations, the very helmet would have contributed to making the bullet unusable for the purposes of the investigation. After the murder, the Palestinian authorities immediately pointed the finger at the Israeli authorities and there were clashes at the funeral of the woman, one of the best known and most followed in the Middle East, who has been on the front line for years.
The Palestinian Authority conducted its own investigation and concluded that the murder was carried out by an Israeli army patrol but from the start, it refused to hand the bullet to Israeli investigators. The Palestinians refused to share the investigation with the Israelis and to carry out joint investigations because, as Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said, “those who fabricated a people’s story, stealing land and homeland, can fabricate a narrative. We don’t trust them ».
Saturday was the turning point: the Palestinian decision to hand it over to American officials and experts who, in front of Israeli experts, examined the bullet and concluded the investigation.
According to Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, “ballistics experts determined that the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion.” According to the team led by American General Michael Penzel, who oversees the security ties between Israel and the Palestinians, the bullet was destroyed by the impact with the helmet. «The USSC – the team that controls the security between the two opponents in the Middle East – has concluded that the shots fired from the positions of the IDF are probably responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. The USSC found no reason to believe this was intentional, but rather the result of tragic circumstances, ”said Price.
The American result, however, left a bad taste in the mouth of Israeli leaders who hoped for a complete acquittal. General Aviv Kohavi, chief of the Israeli army, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz reiterated the Israeli commitment to come to a clear conclusion, asking the army investigators to continue their work. Israel did not rule out the possibility that the fatal blow came from a soldier’s weapon, reiterating that the soldiers were returning fire from Palestinian terrorists and that it is difficult to clarify who fired. A New York Times investigation denied the Israeli army by showing that from the area where the fatal blow took off, there was only a Star of David army truck. A UN agency also accused the Israeli army of Shireen’s murder.
The conclusion of the investigation by the Americans provoked the protest of the Palestinians. Who, rejecting the American findings, reaffirm their commitment to wanting to bring the case before international courts. “We were surprised by these statements. The technical data in our possession indicates that the condition of the bullet is useful for matching the firearm that exploded it, ”said Palestinian Authority prosecutor Akram al-Khatib in a statement. For the prosecutor, the American conclusion is “unacceptable”, in contrast to the evidence identified by Palestinian investigators that he himself led. For them, the Israelis intentionally shot Shireen. The senior Palestinian Authority official, Hussein al-Sheikh, criticized the United States, saying that “we will not allow attempts to hide the truth or timid comments in indicting Israel.”
The family of the murdered journalist also criticized in a statement the result of the US investigation, in what for them is “an extrajudicial murder”. For Shireen’s family there are several witnesses to support the thesis of the murder by an Israeli soldier.