Palestine Peoples Dispatch Shireen Abu Akleh

Shireen Abu Akleh Was Deliberately Killed By an Israeli Sniper, Claims New Investigation Report

Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq issued their findings after findings after a new investigation. Abu Akleh’s family has moved the ICC seeking Israeli accountability for her killing.
Protesters carrying photos of Shireen Abu Akleh, May 2022. שי קנדלר, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Peoples Dispatch

A joint investigation conducted by London-based research group Forensic Architecture and Palestinian group Al-Haq claimed on Tuesday, September 20, that Israeli forces deliberately shot Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and called it an “extrajudicial killing.” It used advanced spatial technology and data and video evidence provided by Al-Jazeera to recreate the act of the Israeli sniper.

The report released on their websites refutes assertions made earlier by Israel and the US that Abu Akleh’s death was accidental. The report conclusively establishes that at the time of her shooting, there was no gunfight in the area and that an Israeli sniper fired at her despite knowing her identity.

Abu Akleh was assassinated by Israeli forces on May 11 when she, along with other journalists, was covering an Israeli raid on a refugee camp in Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Her colleague Ali al-Samoudi was also injured in the firing but survived.

The investigation found that Israeli claims of accidental fire were false and that the Israeli sniper knew about journalists’ presence in the area. He fired 13 rounds at them for at least two minutes without any provocation. The investigation also asserts that the Israeli sniper targeted the people who tried to help Abu Akleh after she was shot.

Israel has refused to take any action against the security personnel responsible for Abu Akleh’s killing. In a report published earlier this month, Israel had claimed that her death had not been intentional but was the result of gunfire between Palestinian armed groups and Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli report asserted that it was “not possible to unequivocally determine the source of the gunfire that hit Abu Akleh.” However, it admitted that “there is a high possibility that Ms. Abu Akleh was accidently hit by IDF gunfire that was fired towards suspects identified as armed Palestinian gunmen, during an exchange of fire.”

Earlier, a US State Department statement issued on July 4 also said that Abu Akleh’s death was “accidental” and took place during caused in a gunfight where “gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible for” her killing. The statement claimed that the killing was not intentional but a result of “tragic circumstances.”

This was despite various previous investigations conducted by the media and human rights groups such as B’Tselem already having refuted the Israeli claims of a gunfight in the area at the time of Abu Akleh’s killing.

On the day report by Forensic Architecture and Al Haq was released, Abu Akleh’s family members moved the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking justice. They filed a formal complaint with the support of the International Federation of Journalists and Palestinian Press Syndicate to establish Israeli accountability in Abu Akleh’s killing.

Even though Abu Akleh was a US citizen, all attempts by her family to seek US intervention in holding Israel accountable have failed to yield any result so far. US President Joe Biden refused to meet the family during his visit to Israel in July. The family reiterated their demand for justice when they met Secretary of State Antony Blinken later that month. 

Peoples Dispatch
Peoples Dispatch

Peoples Dispatch, formerly The Dawn News, is an international media project with the mission of bringing to you voices from people’s movements and organizations across the globe. Since its establishment three years ago, it has sought to ensure that the coverage of news from around the world is not restricted to the rhetoric of politicians and the fortunes of big companies but encompasses the richness and diversity of mobilizations from around the world. Peoples Dispatch also seeks to bring to you breaking news from a perspective widely different from that of the mainstream media. We invite people’s movements and political organizations everywhere to send us information and news from their countries. The information can be in Spanish, Portuguese, English or Hindi. You can reach us at

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