Shireen Abu Akleh: New probe finds Israeli forces deliberately killed journalist
The Israeli military killed the Palestinian-American journalist in May while covering an Israeli military raid in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
Previously unseen footage put together by Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq's Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit reveals new evidence that builds on findings by other investigations, including the UN findings, which concluded that Israeli forces fired the fatal bullet that killed Abu Akleh.
"Shireen and her colleagues were deliberately and repeatedly targeted," the new forensic analysis concluded.
"Our analysis of the shots' impact points confirms their close proximity to one another, indicating precise and careful aim. All shots were fired above the shoulders, revealing an intent to kill," the team behind the investigation found.
'Visual analysis, sound analysis, and witness testimony all confirm that there were NO other persons present between the journalists and the convoy of military vehicles at the time of the incident'
- Forensic Investigation findings
The independent report also contradicts and casts doubt on the Israeli investigation, which was conducted by the army, and concluded that "it is not possible to unequivocally determine the source of the gunfire which hit Ms Abu Akleh."
The Israeli army also added that while there was a "high possibility" that the Al Jazeera correspondent may have been accidentally hit by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), the target was "armed Palestinian gunmen, during an exchange of fire in which life-risking, widespread and indiscriminate shots were fired toward IDF soldiers".
In their latest forensic analysis, the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq and the UK-based forensic agency have debunked the Israeli narrative.
"Visual analysis, sound analysis, and witness testimony all confirm that there were NO other persons present between the journalists and the convoy of military vehicles at the time of the incident," the report said.
The shots were fired from the side of an Israeli military vehicle by a marksman and "no other shots in any of the footage analysed came from the vicinity of the journalists".
Even as a civilian on the scene attempted to give aid to Abu Akleh, the audio and video analysis found that the Israeli forces shot at him, thus "deliberately" denying medical attention to Abu Akleh.
The latest investigation is likely to add more pressure on Israel to come clean about its actions in the killing of a journalist.
Israeli claims that they were returning fire or that there were Palestinian fighters in between the soldiers and Abu Akleh have now been thoroughly disproved by the latest investigation.
The new report was presented in The Hague, the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Lawyers representing the family of Abu Akleh have asked the ICC to open a new investigation into her killing.
"Israel's failure to carry out an effective investigation into the killing of Shireen amounts to a shielding of perpetrators and highlights the need for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to expedite the investigation into the situation in Palestine," said Susan Power, Al-Haq's head of legal research and advocacy.
Speaking in front of the ICC in The Hague on Tuesday, Abu Akleh's brother Anton said the family has spent four months pursuing justice and accountability for her killing and expressed disappointment that the US has failed to launch an investigation.
"That is the bare minimum a government as powerful and influential as that of the United States should strive for on behalf of their own citizen," he said.
He said despite numerous investigations that have concluded that his sister was killed by an Israeli soldier, US and ICC investigations are needed "to hold Israel accountable".
"Shireen was also a proud Palestinian who was killed in cold blood by an Israel soldier. It seems that the reason her case has not been a priority for the US government is because of who she was and who she was killed by."