Who killed Shireen Abu Akleh?

who killed shireen abu akleh fact check

Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed on May 11th. Who killed her? Beyond Satire will look at comments made both by journalists present on the scene, the Israeli government and the IDF, as well as video evidence that we have. You will find primary sources and first-hand accounts, to try to work out this horrifying situation.

Who killed Shireen Abu Akleh: what the IDF and Israeli government told us

Let’s break this down. Shireen Abu Akleh (the journalist that was killed) was with a group of journalist. The common narrative is that they were close to the shooting that was going on. This seems to be false. There was indeed a raid happening in the general large area where the journalists gathered. However, it was far enough that they could not have caught a stray bullet.

Later in this article, we will look at interviews given by people present when Abu Akleh was shot. For now, let’s look at the evidence released by the Israeli government.

The Israel Foreign Ministry released a video where they show an alleged Palestinian terrorist shooting in an alley. The post affirms that Palestinian terrorists “are likely to have hit Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla”.

However, we also have footage of where Shireen Abu Akleh died. Furthermore, field researchers decided to film how far the Palestinians firing in the video were from the area in which Shireen Abu Akleh was shot.

who killed shireen abu akleh fact check

From the video and the map geolocating the event, we see that it’s impossible that these shots could’ve killed the journalist. Indeed, the bullets need to have gone down the alley, turned left, then turned right.

Middle East Eye released a video where they investigate the claim, and provide a detailed map of the evidence released by both journalists on the scene, as well as the Israel Defence Force. Furthermore, it shows that the IDF has a history of targetting journalists.

Shireen Abu Akleh killing: so what actually happened?

From all available evidence, we can conclude she was killed by the Israel Defence Force (IDF).

If you want to listen to the journalists that were present when the Shireen was shot, then what happened is pretty clear. All witnesses say more or less the same thing: a sniper targeted Shireen, then targeted anyone trying to help her.

You can see this for yourself, too. In the video where we see Shireen laying dead, we can also hear clear gunshots aimed at anyone trying to come help her. Anytime someone moves near the body, they get shot at. You can see this for yourself in the video:

You also have to remember that she was wearing a press vest and a helmet. Furthermore, they were far from the fighting.

Let’s say that the Israeli government was telling the truth for a second. Why then would they say that the wild firing of Palestinians killed the journalist? In the video, we can clearly see that the shots are deliberate and precise, not random.

There are long pauses between single shots, all happening anytime someone tries to help her.

Who killed Shireen Abu Akleh: what the witnesses are saying

The more probable explanation for what happened is described by Mujahid Al Saadi, a Palestinian journalist present when Shireen Abu Akleh got shot:

“The [Israel] occupation targeted Shireen, she was wearing a helmet but she was injured under her ear […]. The occupation was adamant about killing us through snipers. Shireen fell while she was wearing a press vest and anyone who tried to save her was shot at. Shireen was clearly targeted, and we were targeted as journalists. The last person that the sniper saw was taking refuge under a tree, our colleague Shatha. The shooting towards her continued while she was standing under the tree and we could not provide first aid to Shireen. The youth came to us, the ones that were in the street, who were trying to pull Shireen out, were also shot. Whenever anyone moved forward, they were shot at.”

Ali al-Samudi, a Palestinian journalist also present on the scene, affirms that they were not only not anywhere near any Palestinian fighters, but that they were shot at in cold blood:

“We were going in to film the (Israeli) army raid. Then they started shooting at us. They didn’t ask us to leave or to stop. They shot at us. One bullet hit me and another hit Shireen. And they killed her in cold blood because they are killers and only specialize in the killing of Palestinians. There were no [Palestinian] resistance fighters around us. When there are Palestinian fighters shooting, we don’t go.”

Shireen Abu Akleh shooting timeline

Let’s summarize the story with all we know so far. There was an Israeli raid happening about half a kilometre from where journalists were waiting. They were seen by the Israli military, who did not ask them to stop or leave. They were not anywhere near any Palestinian resistance fighters.

Then, two journalists got shot. First, Ali al-Samudi was shot and survived. Second, Shireen Abu Akleh was struck to the head, below her helmet. Then, anyone trying to help her were shot at.

From the evidence released by the Israeli government, the Palestinian terrorists firing could not have killed her, as they were not anywhere near the journalist. Never forget that one year ago today, the IDF gave one hour to AP and Al Jazeera to evacuate a building before bombing it (for no good reason).

Conclusion: it’s pretty clear that the IDF killed Shireen Abu Akleh in cold blood. They were and continue to feel threatened by journalists. But don’t take my word for it. Israeli military spokesperson Ran Kochav said it best when talking to Army Radio after Shireen’s death:

“They’re armed with cameras, if you’ll permit me to say so.”

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who killed shireen abu akleh fact check

Robin Playe
Robin Playe

Robin is current doing his Masters in Journalism in France. Passionate about politics, he lived in the USA for 8 years, and loves to write about US politics.

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