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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

News investigations suggest Israeli military culpability in killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

Thursday , 26 May 2022
Photo credit: AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

In response to recent in-depth news investigations from The Associated PressCNN, and open source outlet Bellingcat corroborating witness claims that Israeli military fire killed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian city of Jenin on May 11, CPJ issued the following statement calling for an independent international probe: 


The Israeli military claimed last week that Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American, was killed in an “active combat situation” between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants and declined to immediately open a criminal probe into its soldiers as it continues an operational inquiry, according to The Guardian

In contrast, CNN said its investigation found “there was no active combat, nor any Palestinian militants, near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death,” and said it had found evidence of a “targeted attack.”

On Thursday, May 26, Palestinian Authority Attorney General Akram Al Khateeb announced the results of the Palestinian investigation finding that Israel “directly and deliberately” killed Abu Akleh; Israeli military chief Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi denied this in a speech the same day, saying “no soldier fired intentionally at a journalist,” The Associated Press reported. Al-Jazeera has also blamed Israel, calling it a killing “in cold blood.” 

Israel previously said in a statement provided to CPJ that its initial investigation showed either Israeli or Palestinian fire killed Abu Akleh.  

On Thursday, CPJ joined 33 press freedom and human rights groups calling for an independent investigation by governments and international groups into Abu Akleh’s killing.

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