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Shireen Abu Akleh: New footage shows no fighting before journalist's killing

The clip filmed by a Jenin resident contradicts initial Israeli claims that fighting was ongoing in the area
Sharif Al Azb, who pulled the body of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh from the scene where she was shot dead during an Israeli military raid, gestures at the scene in Jenin. (Reuters)
Sharif Al Azb points to the spot where he rescued the body of Shireen Abu Akleh after she was shot dead during an Israeli military raid in Jenin (Reuters)

New footage has emerged showing no signs of fighting before veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank last week. 

The clip, which contradicts Israel's initial version of events, was filmed by a Jenin resident and shows quiet moments, with no sounds of fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters.

In the new video, obtained by Middle East Eye, some people are seen laughing and talking while others in the background, including Abu Akleh and some of her colleagues, are seen wearing visible blue press flak jackets. 

Before the shooting, the journalists were seen walking in the direction where Israeli forces were located. Once the shooting starts, people are seen running away from where the Israeli troops were positioned, and Abu Akleh is then seen lying in the street after being hit. 

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After her death, Israeli authorities initially said that Palestinian fighters may have been responsible and circulated a video of Palestinian men shooting down a narrow alleyway. They later backtracked and said an Israeli soldier may have killed her. 

visual investigation by MEE following Abu Akleh's death established the location of several key events on 11 May, and gathered testimony from witnesses which cast doubt on the initial Israeli claims.

Eyewitnesses, including MEE correspondent Shatha Hanaysha, said Abu Akleh had been targeted by an Israeli sniper, there was no crossfire at the time, and Palestinian shooters were far from the team of six journalists.

On Thursday, the Israeli military said that the army had potentially identified the rifle that may have been used to kill Abu Akleh, but said they could not be sure unless Palestinian authorities handed over the bullet. The military added that it was not planning to investigate the killing.

The Israeli NGO Yesh Din said that not investigating the incident showed “the army law enforcement mechanisms no longer even bother to give the appearance of investigating. Eighty percent of the complaints that are submitted are dismissed without a criminal investigation. It appears that politics and image count for more than truth and justice. An army that investigates itself in such a serious case as this again proves that it is incapable or unwilling to undertake a fair and effective probe.”

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.