(May 25, 2022 / JNS) The Israeli military has dismissed as “baseless” a report by CNN on Tuesday claiming that Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was intentionally killed by Israeli forces in Jenin.
Citing “new evidence,” the CNN report claims that Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces in a “targeting shooting” during an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists in Jenin on May 11.
“While the footage does not show Abu Akleh being shot, eyewitnesses told CNN that they believe Israeli forces on the same street fired deliberately on the reporters in a targeted attack. All of the journalists were wearing protective blue vests that identified them as members of the news media,” the report said. It cited Palestinian journalist Satah Hanaysha, who was on the scene, eight other eyewitnesses and various experts.
The IDF Spokesperson Unit said in response that “since the incident occurred, the IDF has been investigating and clarifying the circumstances of the journalist’s death in an in-depth and thorough manner. The intermediate investigation that was publicized found that it is not possible to determine the source of fire that … killed the journalist,” according to Maariv.
“The claim that the gunfire was targeted lacks any basis,” the spokesperson continued.
“We express our sorrow for Shireen’s death. We view freedom of the press with great importance and we work to preserve it. The IDF will continue to act to thwart terrorism anywhere that is necessary, and will continue to meet its missions, while making an effort to avoid harming noncombatant,” it stated.
On May 20, 57 U.S. lawmakers called on the FBI and the U.S. State Department to investigate the Palestinian-American journalist’s death.