Photo Credit: CNN Screenshot
Jenin-based Palestinian reporter Shatha Hanaysha was interviewed over Zoom by CNN.

Jenin-based Palestinian reporter Shatha Hanaysha was interviewed over Zoom by CNN, and testified about the IDF force that stood some 200 meters away from her and Al Jazeera reporter Shereen Abu Aqleh: “I think they want to kill us. This is why they shoot. I don’t have another reason why they shoot. And they know we’re journalists.”

“It was targeted,” the CNN reporter concludes.

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“Yah, yah, because all the time when I try to touch the body, they’re shooting on me,” Hanaysha confirms.

Here’s a question: if the IDF was shooting so fiercely in an attempt to kill journalists, how did Hanaysha survive to share her account? From the video presented by CNN––the same video all of us have been watching since the day of the event, trying to decide whether Abu Aqleh had been killed by the IDF Duvdevan special force or by the Palestinian gunmen who were caught celebrating the killing of what they originally thought was an IDF soldier––one thing is clear: Shatha Hanaysha was crouching for long minutes over the body of Abu Aqleh, completely exposed, and didn’t die. Here’s another thing we all noticed: no one was shooting at Hanaysha. And she doesn’t appear afraid for her life in the video, she appears sad for her dead friend.

Of course, on Wikipedia, they’ve already reported that “the CNN investigation found evidence that suggested the killing was ‘a targeted attack by Israeli forces.’” This “new evidence” includes the questionable rant of Shatha Hanaysha, a shot of nearby trees with bullet holes, suggesting the reporter was targeted, and a sound analysis of the shooting, suggesting it came from between 175 and 195 meters away, where an IDF armored vehicle was standing.

For some inexplicable reason, the same CNN report says the Palestinian gunmen were all assembled behind the IDF force and there was not a single Palestinian gunman between the IDF and the journalists. They don’t prove it, they only state it as a given fact.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), since 1992, 19 journalists (not including Al Jazeera’s Shereen Abu Aqleh) were killed covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 16 of whom were Palestinians. For comparison, the International Federation of Journalists has issued a report (Since 1990, 2658 Journalists Have Been Killed) warning that “when you aggregate all these numbers, the total adds up to a staggering 2658 killed in the last thirty years. This comes to about two journalists or media workers dying every week.”

The IFJ then listed the worst places in terms of journalists’ deaths: “Over 50% of journalists were killed in the ten most dangerous top spots featuring countries which suffered war violence, crime and corruption as well a catastrophic breakdown of law and order. Iraq (339 killed) came on top followed by Mexico (175), Philippines (159), Pakistan (138), India (116), Russian Federation (110), Algeria (106), Syria (96), Somalia (93) and Afghanistan (93).”

When you plug the word “Israel” in that report, nothing comes up. That’s because Israel may be the safest place for journalists of all the war zones on the planet.

Indeed, just a day and a half before the shooting of Abu Aqleh, two Mexican journalists had been shot dead. And yet UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization responsible for, among other things, communication and journalism, issued a condemnation of Israel for Abu Aqleh’s death on the day she was killed, but took its time condemning the earlier killing of the Mexican journalists – it was issued
only two days later.

The IDF responded to the clearly biased CNN report, saying it had been investigating the circumstances of Abu Aqleh’s death “in-depth and thoroughly,” and so far it’s not possible to determine the source of the shooting that killed the reporter. In any case, the IDF said, the report’s claim that the shooting was intentional “is devoid of any basis.”

The IDF also noted that “receiving the bullet for a professional ballistic examination may determine between the options [of who fired the lethal bullet]. At the moment, the Palestinians have not responded to our request to conduct a joint investigation or to pass on to us the findings of their investigation, including the bullet.”

The bullet recovered from the scene was a 5.56mm NATO round, used in both M16 and M14 rifles, which are used by both the IDF and Palestinian terrorists. The autopsy at An-Najah National University was unable to determine who shot Abu Aqleh – the pathologist confirmed that she was killed by a bullet that struck her in the head, causing skull fractures and damage to the brain. The bullet was recovered and sent for further examination – although Ramallah would not share its examination with Israeli experts. But they did share images of the bullet with the Americans, who in turn shared them with the Israelis.

In the end, it’s plausible that Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli bullet, which is why the IDF is being so cautious about the case. However, CNN’s suggestion that this was a targeted attempt on the life of the Al Jazeera journalist is vile and should be filed together with the stories about Jews using Christian blood to bake their matzos.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.