Home World News after the death of a journalist, the battle of communication rages

after the death of a journalist, the battle of communication rages


The interminable Israeli-Palestinian conflict is punctuated with symbolic places. The city of Jenin, in the West Bank, is one of them. Twenty years ago, in April 2002, Israel’s Operation “Ramparts” was described there as a “massacre”: the UN report dropped the charge three months later. Two decades later, it was in Jenin that our colleague from Al Jazeera, Shireen Abu Akleh, was killed on the morning of May 11. It covered clashes between Tsahal and Palestinian factions, which have worsened since the new wave of terrorist attacks in Israel. Most of the perpetrators of the attacks come from Jenin and the surrounding villages. The 51-year-old journalist was born in Jerusalem and knew every bit of this Palestine of which she becomes, with her tragic end, an icon.

What bullet took his life? While the emotion surges among the Palestinians but also in some mixed Israeli cities (a demonstration in Haifa) and as the tributes multiply, the investigation proves to be difficult.

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Right from the start, Al Jazeera accused the Israeli army of having “shot in cold blood and at close range”, terms echoed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as well as by news agencies, including AFP in its initial dispatch. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett suggests that the journalist has ” most likely fell victim to Palestinian fire. More circumspect, the Chief of Staff of Tsahal, Aviv Kochavi, calls for a joint investigation with the Palestinian party. What the Palestinians refuse. Requests for international investigations from the United States and the European Union only come later.

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Calls for revenge

Later that day, Palestinian medical examiner Dr. Ryan Al Ali of the Nablus Forensic Institute said he was unable to determine the origin of the bullet. “There is no evidence that the shot at Shireen was taken at close range” he said at a press conference. The Israelis create a commission of inquiry. General Kochavi does not exclude any possibility, Israeli or Palestinian fire. He reiterates the request for a joint investigation. “The bullet is in the hands of the Palestinians and it is its analysis that would identify the gun with which it was fired” repeat the Israelis.

On the Palestinian side, the words of the medical examiner are considered unofficially embarrassing. “He does not have the adequate means…” commented Palestinian journalist Mohammed Najib. The Palestinian authorities only want an international investigation. In the meantime, on the evening of May 11, all the elements of an investigation could be brought together if the voices were not out of tune.

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In fact, the incandescence of emotion has already woven a narrative. Before the journalist was laid to rest on Friday in her native Jerusalem – with a service in a church in the old city – her coffin was transported this Thursday, May 12, through the streets of Ramallah for a funeral tribute. In front of the vibrant crowd, Mahmoud Abbas demands that the case be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. ” Calls for revenge are increasing on social networks and it is feared that the idea of ​​​​new attacks will become popular warns Orit Perlov, Palestinian media specialist at the National Security Research Institute (INSS, Israeli). In the desert of Palestinian hope, and in the absence of any great political figure, the image of Shireen Abu Akleh joins the pantheon of “martyrs”.

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