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Latest Libel: Israel Killed Al Jazeera Journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh (Updated)

The PA, haters, and mainstream media, are all blaming Israel for shooting dead veteran Palestinian-American journalist Shirin Abu Aqleh, who was shot in the head while covering the Israeli army operation in the city.

Israel has promised to investigate, but believes she is likely to have been inadvertently killed by the terrorists firing at the IDF:

“During the operation in Jenin refugee camp, suspects fired an enormous amount of gunfire at troops and hurled explosive devices. [Israeli] forces fired back. Hits were identified,” the Israeli army said in a statement.

The army said it was “looking into the possibility that journalists were injured, potentially by Palestinian gunfire.” In video from the scene, some Palestinian gunmen can be seen firing off rounds; at one point, one Palestinian says that an Israeli soldier was hit by gunfire.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the government backed the soldiers’ actions.

“According to the information in our hands right now, there is a good chance that armed Palestinians, firing wildly, brought about the tragic death of the journalist,” Bennett said in a statement.

“But even if soldiers shot at — or, God forbid, hurt — someone who was not involved, this happened in battle, during a firefight, where this Palestinian is with the shooters. So this thing can happen,” Israeli military spokesperson Ran Kochav told Army Radio.

Palestinian health officials and witnesses rejected the possibility that Abu Aqleh was killed by errant Palestinian gunfire. In footage seen by The Times of Israel, the journalists can be seen more or less on their own — with no armed Palestinians or Israeli soldiers apparently nearby.

“The assessment is that she was killed by Israeli gunfire, and witnesses at the scene attest to this as well,” a Palestinian health official said in a phone call.

Two of the other Palestinian witnesses — Shatha Hanaysheh and Mujahid al-Sa’adi — also squarely blamed Israeli snipers for the shooting.

Israel advocate Emily Schrader has posted the following video arguing why it could very well have been the terrorists who shot her. Her contentions are that 1. no IDF soldier has been reported injured yet terrorists claimed they shot a soldier, who was laying on the ground and 2. Palestinian Arabs by her body initially refer to a male only to realize the victim is a female.

In other words, there is a suggestion that they were referring to the journalist when they claimed they had shot a soldier.

(I can confirm she is correct with her Arabic translations).

But Emily is careful and correct to point out that “we don’t know for sure what happened yet, yet Al Jazeera is already blaming Israel. This is unethical and bad journalism.” Because none of this is proof the terrorists shot the journalist either; for instance, when they said they had shot a soldier, it could have actually been a fellow terrorist (in which case, it could point to how careless their gunfire was).

Here is the moment the journalist was killed:

Note how it is not in an alleyway, but out in the open, which suggests the comment that they had hit someone less likely to have referred to the journalist (but it is also possible word got back to them, or that this was near the alleyways).

Also note how we hear a spray of gunfire before the camera pans to her lifeless body. I would argue, admittedly not as a ballistics expert, that this type of “wild” gunfire may not be consistent with the idea that snipers targeted her.

Another thing I heard from a Christian friend is that this journalist was Christian but they are burying her immediately.

(note the gun on her casket, by the way)

Why are they burying her so quickly? It certainly is possible they do not want the forensic evidence to see light of day.

So what we have is a he-said she-said situation, but with circumstantial evidence that makes it more likely she was killed by the palestinian Arab terrorists. And based on past experience, the palestinian side invariably lies, so, yes, I am more inclined to believe Israel. Yet at the very least, no-one can nor should be reporting that it was definitely Israel who killed her – most of all not media organizations.

Update: B’tselem have tried to prove it must have been the IDF, based on where the journalist was shot in relation to the alleyways shown in the video of terrorists claiming they shot someone. Israel has denied claiming that video was proof they killed her (some Israel advocates stupidly did make the claim).

This accords with what I wrote above.

Blogger Elder of Ziyon has used the locations provided by B’tselem to show it was even less likely she was shot by the IDF.

Update: Validation for my theory above about the nature of the gunshots (hat tip: Uri):

I enclose here a video of about three minutes from the first moments of Sheerin’s death. Throughout the video you can hear many gunshots.

Without knowing the shooters … there is one clear characteristic of IDF shooting that is different from the shooting characteristics heard in the video.

IDF soldiers fire bullets at a “loner.” That is, a bullet, a break, a break ball.

Throughout the attached video you can hear a lot of shots being fired. This indicates the presence of Palestinian militants and indiscriminate firing on their part at the point where she was killed.

Update: The PA is now saying they do not know who did it.

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