On Wednesday, a shoot-out between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian guerrillas in the West Bank city of Jenin resulted in the death of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Her employer, Al Jazeera—the anti-Semitic and anti-American network owned by Qatar, a major financial and diplomatic sponsor of Hamas—immediately declared that she was “assassinated” by the IDF, a claim echoed on the House floor by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. Israeli officials have released evidence suggesting that the bullet that killed Al Akleh came from a Palestinian rifle, while acknowledging that it is impossible to arrive at forensic certainty without further investigation. But the Palestinian Authority has rejected Jerusalem’s call for a joint investigation, and it refuses to hand over any of the evidence in its possession. Ron Ben-Yishai comments:
When a journalist heads out to an active warzone, especially in an urban area, the chances of getting caught in the crossfire unintentionally are high. Such cases require an investigation in which an autopsy is performed, as well as a ballistic probe to determine which weapon was fired at the journalist.
But the Palestinians and Al Jazeera don’t want the truth. The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas, and the Ra’am Knesset member Walid Taha, wish to leverage her death, which was most likely unintentional, for political and propaganda purposes, and that is why they reject any offer for an objective investigation.
Even if such an investigation were to be launched, they will make sure to destroy any shred of evidence that might point to the probable scenario that the Palestinian militants who were firing wantonly were the ones who killed her.
The Palestinians rushed to declare the journalist a martyr because it serves the constant war of propaganda that Abbas and the Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar lead against Israel. But the IDF’s version is correct: the Palestinians and Al Jazeera’s assertions are grounded in nothing except deafening victimhood that is aimed at painting Israel and its security forces as the aggressor.
I believe that the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was in Jenin because she wanted to report the facts as they were. We’re allowed to demand that Abbas, Al Jazeera, and Ra’am refrain from using her death to spread fake news until the facts are thoroughly examined.