The FBI’s Gratuitous and Futile Investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death

Nov. 17 2022

Over six months ago, the Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was hit by a bullet and killed while covering a shoot-out between the IDF and a group of Palestinian guerrillas. On the grounds that Abu Akleh was an American as well as a Palestinian citizen, the State Department insisted on conducting its own investigation. It concluded that Abu Akleh was “likely” killed by a stray bullet from an Israeli soldier’s gun, although it admittedly could not say so with certainty. The IDF’s own investigation reached a similar conclusion. Yet this is not enough for the U.S. Department of Justice, which recently announced that it will look in the matter itself. Lahav Harkov comments:

Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” poster, which can be viewed on the FBI website, describes her as “charged with participating in an August 9, 2001 suicide-bomb attack at a pizza restaurant in Jerusalem that killed fifteen people, including two United States nationals. Four other United States nationals were among approximately 122 others injured in the attack,” the site reads. “Should be considered armed and dangerous.”

The FBI poster asks for tips and offers a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Tamimi’s arrest. Here’s a tip: she’s in Jordan, hosting a talk show on Hamas TV, . . . but Jordan refuses to extradite her.

It’s not clear what the FBI will accomplish in its investigation, considering that the agency does not appear to have access to new evidence, nor will it be able to question Israeli soldiers. . . . Yet it’s insisting on going forward with its own probe.

In other words, this apparently accidental, but still tragic, death of a U.S. citizen seems to warrant special attention that an intentional terrorist bombing with several American victims does not.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: IDF, Palestinian terror, U.S.-Israel relationship

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy