State Department struggling to whitewash Israeli killing of Abu Akleh

July 5, 2022 - 22:2

TEHRAN— In an extremely outrageous statement that could serve as the whitewashing of a horrendous crime, the U.S. State Department claimed that the bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh was “likely” shot from an Israeli gun, but “found no evidence that it was intentional.”

May 11 is an unforgettable date for the world, as it embarks on yet another Israeli crime against the press members. 

Abu Akleh, an American-Palestinian veteran journalist in the occupied West Bank, was shot in the ear by an Israeli sniper on May 11 despite wearing a vest marked “press”, and a helmet. 

However, in an effort to disprove the truth, the Israeli army announced that it had made a proposal to the Palestinian Authority to conduct a joint investigation into how Al Jazeera correspondent was shot dead.

Israeli army spokesman Ran Kochav said Tel Aviv had made the offer to the Palestinians to jointly investigate the details of the killing in the Jenin camp on the morning of May 11.

Kochav claimed that, contrary to what the Arab media reported, initial estimates indicated that the journalist had been shot dead by Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin camp.

The U.S. embassy in Quds on May 11 called for a comprehensive investigation into the killing.

Nevertheless, on May 20, in a statement the Israeli military claimed since Abu Akleh was killed in an “active combat situation”, it will not launch a criminal investigation despite demands by the international community.

According to reports, the head of an Israeli Brigade, Meni Liberty, identified six occasions during the regime’s military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied territories when Israeli soldiers opened fire near Abu Akleh and other journalists.

Now, the global community is more enraged than ever.

“After an extremely detailed forensic analysis, independent, third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC), could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion,” a statement issued by the U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. 

“In addition to the forensic and ballistic analysis, the USSC was granted full access to both Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian Authority (PA) investigations over the last several weeks. By summarizing both investigations, the USSC concluded that gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. The USSC found no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances during an IDF-led military operation against factions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad on May 11, 2022, in Jenin, which followed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel,” the statement continued.

“The United States appreciates and continues to encourage cooperation between Israel and the PA in this important case. We will remain engaged with Israel and the PA on next steps and urge accountability. We again offer our deepest condolences to the Abu Akleh family,” it concluded. 

The Palestinian foreign ministry refuted the claim made by the U.S. State Department, saying, “The State of Palestine rejects the United States’ dismissal of the Israeli occupying forces’ intentional targeting of and killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, as mere ‘tragic circumstances’ and not an intentional war crime.”

In its statement, the Palestinian foreign ministry added, “No amount of vagueness or politicization can exonerate the killers, whitewash the crime, or hide the truth. It will only further institutionalize Israel’s impunity, continue to deny the Palestinian people any justice, and threaten the safety and lives of journalists.”

It also said that the Palestinian foreign ministry will take the case to the International Criminal Court to hold the Israeli regime accountable. 

“In pursuit of justice for Shireen and all Palestinian victims, we will continue undeterred with our efforts at the international level, including the International Criminal Court,” the statement concluded. 

Ironically, lobbyists for the press-killing regime of Israel have discovered who killed Abu Akleh. It’s Iran, folks! 

“Let’s be clear: Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad is responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. Terrorists murdered 19 Israeli civilians and committed war crimes by using Palestinian civilians as human shields,” tweeted Mark Dubowitz, CEO of The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which claims to be “a non-partisan institution focusing on national security and foreign policy.”

The Western media cheered the result of the U.S. State Department investigation. It seemed like they had already prepared their headlines. “Bullet Too Damaged to Prove Who Killed Palestinian American Journalist, U.S. Says”. Don’t be surprised. This is how the New York Times welcomes this “unbiased” probe.

On June 25, the United Nations said its investigation has found that the bullets which killed Abu Akleh were fired by the Israeli regime forces and were “well-aimed bullets.”

Earlier, similar investigations by the Associated Press, CNN, the Washington Post and Al Jazeera, for whom Abu Akleh spent 25 years reporting for in the occupied territories found similar results, yet the regime continues to refuse responsibility for the murder.

“We find that the shots that killed Abu Akleh came from Israeli forces,” UN human rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva on June 25. “It is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation.”

She continued, “We at the UN human rights office have concluded our independent monitoring into the incident. The shots that killed Abu Akleh… came from Israeli forces and not from indiscriminate firing by armed Palestinians, as initially claimed by Israeli authorities.”

In one of her narrations, Abu Akleh herself once said, “The investigation may not reach desired results, but raising the voice over and again, continuing to pursue Israel in international forums shall lead to a day when the executioner won’t be able to sleep after pulling the trigger to kill a Palestinian.”

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