Independent investigation points to Israeli fire in journalist death

Jerusalem (AP) — Several independent groups have launched their own investigations as Israel and Palestinians vie for an investigation into the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. An open source research team said its initial findings helped Palestinian witnesses who said they were killed in an Israeli fire.

The results of these investigations may help shape an international opinion about the person responsible for the death of Abu Acre, especially if the official Israeli military investigation is prolonged. Israel and the Palestinians are already trapped in a narrative war that keeps Israel on the defensive.

Palestinian-American and 25-year-old satellite channel veteran Abu Acre was killed last Wednesday while reporting an Israeli attack on the occupied Genin refugee camp on the West Bank. rice field. She is famous throughout the Arab world and is known for recording the difficulties of Palestinian life under Israeli rule.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Abu Acre’s family on Sunday to express condolences and respect for her work, “not only needing an immediate and credible investigation” of her death. Said that he did.

Palestinian officials and witnesses, including a journalist who was with her, say she was killed in a military fire. The army initially said that Palestinian militants might have been responsible, then turned back later and now says she may have been hit by a false Israeli fire.

Israel called for a joint investigation with Palestinians, stating that ballistics experts would have to analyze the bullets to reach a firm conclusion. Palestinian officials refused to trust Israel and invited other countries to investigate.According to human rights groups, Israel Bad record Investigating fraudulent activity by the security forces.

Several research and human rights groups have begun their own investigations on both sides of the loggerhead turtle over the Abuakure probe.

Over the weekend, Bellingcat, an international consortium of researchers based in the Netherlands, published an analysis of video and audio evidence collected on social media. The material comes from both Palestinian and Israeli military sources, and the analysis examined factors such as time stamps, video locations, shadows, and forensic voice analysis of gunshots.

The group found that both gunmen and Israeli soldiers were in the area, but evidence supports witness testimony that an Israeli fire killed Abu Acre.

“Based on what we were able to review, the IDF (Israeli Soldier) was closest to Abuakure and had the clearest line of sight,” said Giancarlo Fiorella, Principal Investigator of Analysis. Said.

Bellingcat “Open source” informationSocial media videos, security camera recordings, satellite images, etc. Rebuild the event..

Fiorella admitted that without evidence of bullets, weapons used by the army, GPS positions of the Israeli army, etc., the analysis cannot be 100% certain. But he said that the emergence of additional evidence usually supports preliminary conclusions and rarely overturns them.

“This is what we do when we don’t have access to those things,” he said.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said it also has its own analysis. The group played an important role in the military retreat last week, from the initial allegations that Palestinian militants were believed responsible for her death.

Israel’s allegations were based on social media videos in which Palestinian shooters fired in the alleys of Genin and then ran to claim that other militants shot soldiers. The army said the shooter may have mentioned Abu Acre, who wore a protective helmet and flake jacket, because the soldier was not injured that day.

B’Tselem researchers go to the area and watch a video showing that Palestinian militants are about 300 meters (yards) away from where Abu Acre was shot, separated by a series of walls and alleys. I took it.

Group spokeswoman Dror Sadot said B’Tselem is beginning to collect testimony from witnesses and may try to reconstruct the shoot with video from the scene. But she said at this point she couldn’t conclude who was behind the shooting.

Sadot said the bullets need to fit into the barrel. Palestinians have refused to release bullets, and it is unknown whether the military has confiscated the weapons used that day.

“I can’t say much with bullets alone,” she said, as they could have been fired from either side. “What you can do is fit the bullet to the barrel,” she said.

The Israeli army did not respond to an interview request to discuss the status of the investigation.

Former Israeli military spokesman and military expert Jonathan Conricus concludes that restructuring gunfights in densely populated urban areas is “extremely complex” and forensic evidence such as bullets is solid. Said it was important to reach. He accused the Palestinian Authority of refusing to cooperate for promotional purposes.

“Without bullets, any investigation can only reach partial and questionable conclusions,” Conricus said. “The Palestinian Authority’s strategy may seem like that. It is to deny Israel’s ability to reveal its name while taking advantage of its global sympathy for the Palestinian cause.”

Meanwhile, Israeli police have begun investigating the actions of police officers who attacked mourners at Abu Acre’s funeral over the weekend. The casket side attendant almost drops the casket..

The Sunday newspaper was full of criticisms of the police and portrayals of public relations blunders.

“Friday footage is the exact opposite of good judgment and patience,” commentator Oded Shalom writes to Yediot Ahronot every day. “It recorded a shocking display of unrestricted atrocities and violence.”

Nir Hasson, who covers the Jerusalem issue in Haaretz every day, said the issue was far deeper than the image of Israel.

“This was one of the most extreme visual representations of the profession and humiliation experienced by Palestinians,” he writes.


The Associated Press writer Tia Goldenberg in Tel Aviv, Israel and Matthew Lee in Berlin contributed to this report.