Monday, September 05, 2022

IDF report on Abu Akleh says "likely" she was killed by IDF but adds little new information

The IDF released a report on the results of their investigation of the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. It says,

According to all the investigations carried out, it appears that it is not possible to determine unequivocally by whom Shirin Abu-Aqla was killed, but it is more likely that Shirin was injured inadvertently [when] the IDF fired at those identified as Palestinian militants during a battle, during which a massive, indiscriminate and life-threatening shot was fired at the IDF soldiers. Along with this, it will be emphasized and clarified that throughout the incident, the fire of the IDF soldiers was aimed and intended to hit the terrorists who fired at our forces. Another possibility is that Shireen Abu-Aqla was hit by gunfire from Palestinian armed men, fired in her direction.

The materials released add very little to what we already knew.  They say, for example, that they examines the audio forensics evidence, but doesn't say what that evidence indicated. 

The only interesting detail is this diagram showing where the IDF identified incoming fire from (red dots.)

It shows only one place north of the IDF vehicles, and it is immediately north. The report indicates that the IDF responded to "massive" fire that was from the north, the direction of Abu Akleh. 

This brings up more questions than it answers - there were clearly many bullets in the general direction of Abu Akleh and the reporters. 

On the other hand, if the placement of these dots is accurate, it indicates that there were indeed terrorists firing from on top of buildings, and who had line of sight to Abu Akleh. While most are too far from Abu Akleh according to the audio analysis, chances are that there were plenty other terrorists on rooftops in Jenin to the north. (The northernmost one is about 210 meters from Abu Akleh, only a little further than the IDF.) Whether this map is meant to be comprehensive or not, I don't know - it appears to be the shots aimed at the IDF, and shots aimed elsewhere wouldn't be included.

I wish this was a more detailed report that explains the evidence that was used and the reason the IDF thinks it was likely (but not definite) to have been their gunfire that killed Abu Akleh. 

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