New York City =- A New York Times probe has found that an Israeli occupation soldier fatally shot Al Jazeera’s veteran Palestinian-American correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, noting that no armed Palestinians were near Abu Akleh at the time she was killed in the occupied West Bank.
Published on Monday, the monthlong probe by The New York Times, titled “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh: Tracing a Bullet to an Israeli Convoy,” concluded that “the bullet that killed Ms. Abu Akleh was fired from the approximate location of the Israeli military convoy, most likely by a soldier from an elite unit.”
The probe also confirmed that no Palestinian armed men were near Abu Akleh at the time she was killed in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, disputing an early Israeli claim referencing the possibility that it was killed by a Palestinian fire.
The report also said that the “Palestinian deaths rarely attract international scrutiny, and soldiers accused of crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank are rarely convicted.”
The Times investigation also showed that “16 shots were fired from the location of the Israeli convoy, as opposed to Israeli claims that the soldier had fired five bullets in the journalists’ direction.”
“The Times found no evidence that the person who fired recognized Ms. Abu Akleh and targeted her personally. The Times was unable to determine whether the shooter saw that she and her colleagues were wearing protective vests emblazoned with the word Press,” the report added.
The probe relied on available video footage, witness testimonies and an acoustic analysis of the bullets fired around the time Abu Akleh was killed.
The CNN investigation in May said evidence suggests that the veteran journalist was killed in a “targeted attack by Israeli forces”.
A probe by the Palestinian Authority also found that Abu Akleh was deliberately shot by Israeli forces.
51-year-old Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed in the head while she was covering an Israeli military raid into the Jenin refugee camp despite wearing a press vest on May 11, sparking international outrage and calls for accountability for attacks on journalists. The slain journalist covered events and Israeli aggressions in the occupied Palestinian territory for 25 years.