Skip to main content

Why is the PA hiding the bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh?

Itamar Marcus  |


  • PA chief pathologist says he can’t yet determine which side killed Abu Akleh

  • Some of the PA libels related to the death of Shireen Abu Akleh:

“Intentionally and deliberately shooting Abu Akleh”
“Israel’s assassination of journalist Abu Akleh” 
“The crime of executing Abu Akleh” 
“Israel’s violent assassination”
“Deliberate targeting”
“She was murdered”
“Heinous crime”
“Israel’s atrocious assassinations of Palestinian journalists”
Israel has a “shoot-to-kill policy against the Palestinian people”
“Israel openly rewards their soldiers for the killing of Palestinians, including journalists”
Israel gives “green light to its soldiers to shoot and kill Palestinians”

While the Palestinian Authority and some in the international community are quick to condemn Israel for the death of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, their unsubstantiated condemnations of Israel say more about their blind hatred for Israel than it does about Abu Akleh’s death.

The known facts are straightforward but inconclusive. Shireen Abu Akleh was killed yesterday during a gunfight between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli soldiers in Jenin but it is not known who fired the bullet that killed her. Asked if there is “clear evidence that the bullet came from the Israeli army,” the PA’s chief pathologist who examined the body said he could not “declare any information” at this point: 

Head of An-Najah National University’s Forensic Medicine Department Dr. Rayyan Al-Ali: “The case [of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death] was transferred to autopsy… in order to confirm the direct cause of death, and to attempt to find evidence that could be connected to the party responsible for the death of Martyr Shireen Abu Akleh.” …

Journalist: “Is there clear evidence that the bullet came from the Israeli army, thereby debunking the Israeli version [of events]?”

Rayyan Al-Ali: “It is currently impossible to declare any information because the partners from the forensic laboratory, each in their own field of expertise, will study the evidence that will be gathered.”

[Al-Jazeera YouTube channel, May 11, 2022]

Obstructing the determination of the truth, the Palestinian Authority is preventing Israel from carrying out its own inquiry by withholding the bullet that killed Abu Akleh. Checking the bullet's ballistics against the rifles used by Israeli soldiers yesterday could possibly confirm or rule out an Israeli connection to her death. However, as PA minister Hussein Al-Sheikh tweeted:

“Israel has requested a joint investigation and to be handed over the bullet that assassinated the journalist Shireen, we refused that…”

[Twitter account of Hussein Al-Sheikh, May 12, 2022]

It seems that the Palestinian Authority is anxious to generate international condemnation of Israel over the death of the journalist even without evidence of Israel’s connection. Enabling Israel to examine the bullet, which may expose the truth, is not in the PA’s interest and they, therefore, refuse Israel’s request.

The fact that the professionals investigating this incident, including PA’s chief pathologist, do not know whose bullet killed Abu Akleh, does not stop the PA from libeling Israel for not only killing her but for “assassinating” her and committing “the crime of execution.”

Shireen Abu Akleh

The following are examples of the unsubstantiated accusations, condemnations, and libels being disseminated by the Palestinian Authority:

Headline: “Presidency condemns Israel’s killing of Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh”

“The Palestinian Presidency today condemned what it described as “the crime of execution” by the Israeli occupation forces of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

“The Presidency holds the Israeli government fully responsible for this heinous crime,” it said, stressing that “it is part of the daily policy pursued by the occupation against our people, their land, and their holy sites.”

The Presidency stressed that the crime of executing journalist Abu Akleh and wounding journalist Ali Samoudi “is part of the occupation's policy of targeting journalists to obscure the truth and commit crimes silently.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, May 11, 2022]

Headline: “PM Shtayyeh calls on European Union and Parliament to pressure Israel to stop unilateral measures”

“Prime Minister Muhammed Shtayyeh called on the European Union and Parliament to pressure Israel to stop all unilateral measures and violations against the Palestinian people, and all attempts to impose a temporal and spatial division of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

During a meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, at the Parliament’s headquarters in the Belgian capital, Shtayyeh briefed the EU official on the latest developments in Palestinian as well as on Israeli violations, adding that: “Israel acts as a state above the law and maintains a shoot-to-kill policy against the Palestinian people, the latest of which was the killing of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and teenager Thayer Khalil Yazouri.”

Shtayyeh stressed the importance of accelerating the release of the European funding and pressuring Israel to accept auditing the Palestinian tax revenues along with associated deductions by an international party to put an end to all forms of piracy of Palestinian money and the illegal deductions.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, May 11, 2022]

Headline: “Foreign Ministry: The State of Palestine condemns in the strongest terms Israel’s assassination of journalist Abu Akleh”

“The State of Palestine condemned in the strongest terms Israel’s violent assassination and deliberate targeting earlier today of Al-Jazeera’s veteran journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, in Jenin refugee camp, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

Israeli occupying forces shot Shireen Abu Akleh in the head. She was murdered while reporting Israel’s crimes. She was wearing her PRESS vest, it said. “Today the voice of Palestine was killed, but the echo is eternal. “

The Foreign Ministry said for decades, Abu Akleh courageously exposed Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. “With her fearless reporting and her powerful persistence, Shireen became an icon of the truth. A national hero for those whose voices were silenced by Israel’s crimes,” it said.

“Israel’s assassination of Shireen is part of its well-documented and widely acknowledged war and incitement against Palestinian journalists and the freedom of expression and the press. Israel and its officials, openly and publicly, reward their soldiers for the killing of Palestinians, including journalists, with full impunity and an emboldened sense of immunity,” said the Foreign Ministry.

Shireen Abu Akleh is another victim of the international community’s willful inaction to hold Israel accountable for its continued crimes. “Israel’s war crimes and terrorism must stop. Allowing Israel’s atrocious assassinations of Palestinian journalists to pass unchecked is to sanction the killing of journalists,” it said.

“The State of Palestine calls on the journalists worldwide to expose Israel’s crimes, including crimes against journalists. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court must immediately and urgently open an investigation into Israel’s crimes against journalists and media personnel. Likewise, the Security Council of the United Nations must assume its responsibility and ensure the protection of the Palestinian people, in accordance with United Nations resolutions.”

The ministry concluded: “As we mourn this devastating national tragedy, we salute our journalists and media personnel for their bravery and persistence in relaying to the world the truth about what is happening in Palestine in spite of targeting them by Israel’s brutal, settler, and racist regime.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, May 11, 2022]

Headline: “Ministry of Information: The killing of Abu Akleh requires intensifying efforts to achieve justice”

“The Ministry of Information said it was deeply shocked over the killing of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the injury of other journalists, including Ali al-Samudi, at dawn today in Jenin refugee camp.

The Israeli occupation forces killed Abu Akleh, who was wearing her clearly visible and marked journalist gear, when covering the Israeli military storming of the refugee camp, said the ministry in a statement.

“In several previous occasions, the Israeli occupation has repeatedly targeted, injured and assaulted Palestinian journalists, including the renowned journalist Abu Akleh,” it said.

“Today, Shireen joins other journalists that Israel killed as they worked on revealing the crimes of the Israeli occupation. The killing of Shireen Abu Akleh can never deter our people from continuing the struggle for freedom and will only shorten the life of this occupation and bring us closer to freedom and ending Israeli impunity,’ said the Ministry of Information.

“The killing of Abu Akleh requires consolidating and joining Palestinian, Arab and international efforts to achieve justice for the souls of Shireen and all journalists, victims of the Israeli criminal occupation, ensuring Israeli accountability and ending its impunity,” it added.

The Ministry of Information said it will intensify efforts “to achieve justice for our journalists and ensure accountability for the Israeli occupation for its crimes against journalists and further ensure ending Israeli impunity.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, May 11, 2022]

Headline: “Palestinian officials slam Israel’s killing of Al-Jazeera correspondent”

“Palestinian officials today strongly condemned the Israeli killing of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a correspondent with Al-Jazeera, who was shot dead this morning by the Israeli occupation forces in Jenin refugee camp.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the killing of Abu Akleh saying she was killed “while carrying out her journalistic duty in documenting the horrific crimes committed by the occupying soldiers against our people.”

The Foreign Ministry accused Israel of “Intentionally and deliberately” shooting Abu Akleh and her colleague Ali Samoudi, who was also shot in the back at the same time and is currently getting treatment in hospital.

It said in a statement that the shooting is an implementation of the Israeli government’s policy that gave the green light to its soldiers to shoot and kill Palestinians.

The General Supervisor of the Official Media, Ahmad Assaf, said that the occupation's targeting of Abu Akleh is a part of the policy of targeting the Palestinian media, adding that “the occupation aims from this crime to obliterate the truth and silence the voice of truth in order to commit its crimes silently.”

The Ministry of Information and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, along with several other Palestinian officials and organizations, have also strongly condemned the killing of Abu Akleh.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, May 11, 2022]

RelatedView all ❯