CNN: "Israel" purposely murdered Shireen Abu Akleh
The US news channel, with evidence, paints a clear picture of the crime scene of Shireen Abu Akleh's assassination.
A report published in CNN provides evidence and testimonies regarding the death of slain Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was assassinated by an Israeli sniper earlier this month.
The report starts off with a descriptive narration of the moment Abu Akleh was murdered, when her colleague, Shatha Hanaysha, watched the veteran journalist drop to motionlessness, unable to comprehend the magnitude of the situation before her. Both were wearing Press vests, yet were nonetheless attacked. Although a man tried to come to aid, he was deterred back by gunfire.
Eyewitnesses narrated to CNN that the Israeli forces present on the same street fired, deliberately, at the journalist even though the entourage followed journalist protocol, making sure they were seen, as a group, before moving around.
"We stood in front of the Israeli military vehicles for about five to ten minutes before we made moves to ensure they saw us. And this is a habit of ours as journalists, we move as a group and we stand in front of them so they know we are journalists, and then we start moving," Hanaysha told CNN.
Lies met with proof
When the shooting occurred, Israeli military spokesperson Ran Kochav casually said that Abu Akleh had been "filming and working for a media outlet amidst armed Palestinians. They're armed with cameras, if you'll permit me to say so," saying it's "not clear" who fired the shot, and that Abu Akleh was hit either by Palestinian gunfire or by an Israeli sniper aiming at Palestinian gunmen. However, as written in the CNN report, "neither Israel nor anyone else has provided evidence showing armed Palestinians within a clear line of fire from Abu Akleh."
Read more: Shireen Abu Akleh murder goes to ICC
CNN obtained two videos that show that there was no evidence of combat nor any Palestinian gunmen on the field before Abu Akleh's time of the assassination. The videos were endorsed by eight eyewitnesses who were around, in addition to an audio forensic analyst and an explosive weapons expert. Abu Akleh, was in fact, "shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces," as written in the report.
The footage obtained shows calm before the reporters were attacked with bullets just outside Jenin refugee camp, near Awdeh roundabout. Hanaysha, including four other journalists, said it was a typical morning in Jenin - relatively quiet.
One video provided to CNN exposed the fact that there were snipers before the assassination. In a 16-minute video filmed by Salim Awad, he walks towards the spot where the journalists had gathered, zooming in on Israeli armored vehicles which were parked in the distance, eyeing, probing sinisterly. In the video, the man says: "Look at the snipers."
Awad gave a testimony, too: "There was no conflict or confrontations at all. We were about 10 guys, give or take, walking around, laughing and joking with the journalists," he said. "We were not afraid of anything. We didn't expect anything would happen, because when we saw journalists around, we thought it'd be a safe area."
His video captured the moments when the shots were fired at Abu Akleh and three of her colleagues, including Hanaysha, Al Jazeera producer Ali Al-Samoudi, and another Palestinian journalist, Mujahid Al-Saadi. There was, in the video, a direct line of sight toward the Israeli convoy.
"We saw around four or five military vehicles on that street with rifles sticking out of them and one of them shot Shireen. We were standing right there, we saw it. When we tried to approach her, they shot at us. I tried to cross the street to help, but I couldn't," Awad said.
Before the assassination, a testimony obtained by a 16-year-old who was standing among a group of men and boys on the street also narrates that there were "no shots fired, no stone-throwing, nothing."
Just after the journalists left for the hospital, the video showed five Israeli army vehicles driving slowly past the place of death, turning left, and leaving via the roundabout.
CNN reviewed up to 11 videos that exposed the crime scene as well as the IOF's action from multiple angles. One video includes a body camera video, which was released by the IOF, depicting Israeli soldiers running through an alleyway holding M16 assault rifles and variants as they spilled out onto the street where the armored vehicles were parked. One military source said that both were holding M16 and M4-style rifles.
The armored vehicles, which amount to five, were lined up in a row on the same line where Abu Akleh was shot. The vehicles closest to the journalists had a number "1", while the farthest away had a "5." All were positioned perpendicular across the street. Directly above the numbers are little rectangular boxes from where the Israelis have been shooting.
The report writes, "The Israeli military referenced such an opening in a statement about its initial investigation into Abu Akleh's shooting, saying that the journalist may have been hit by an Israeli soldier shooting from a 'designated firing hole in an IDF vehicle using a telescopic scope.'"
Furthermore, a number of eyewitnesses told CNN that they saw sniper rifles sticking out of the openings of the armored vehicles before the shooting began, "but that it was not preceded by any gunfire."
The firing was no random act, and the weapons expert could affirm this.
According to Chris Cobb-Smith, an explosive weapons expert, there was "no chance" that random firing would result in three to four shots in such tight space. "From the strike marks on the tree, it appears that the shots, one of which hit Shireen, came from down the street from the direction of the IDF troops. The relatively tight grouping of the rounds indicate Shireen was intentionally targeted with aimed shots and not the victim of random or stray fire," the firearms expert told CNN.
A professor from the Arab American University in Jenin, Jamal Huwail, who had helped drag Abu Akleh's body from the road, said he believed that the attack was coming from one of the Israeli vehicles, which he described as a "new model which had an opening for snipers," noting the elevation and the direction of the bullets that suggest so.
"They were shooting directly at the journalists," Huwail said.
The Israeli establishment will, all in all, continually use innovation to build more "effective" ways to systemically oppress, murder and inflict suffering on Palestinians and critics of "Israel" alike. Abu Akleh's death on May 11 was a clear message to journalists around the world who use their camera and penmanship to narrate truth and nothing but.