The Stream

Who will be held accountable for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh?

On Wednesday, May 18 at 19:30GMT:
It has been one week since Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. Al Jazeera Media Network has said she was “assassinated in cold blood” and called on the international community to hold Israeli forces responsible.

Various investigations into her death have also begun. Palestinian officials have say they do not trust Israel and they would handle an investigation alone and deliver results very soon.

Human rights groups are pointing to Israel’s poor record of investigating wrongdoing by its security forces.

According to the Haaretz newspaper, Israeli authorities have interrogated the soldier believed to have fired the bullet, who said he was sitting in an army vehicle 190 metres away and “didn’t see” Abu Akleh.

And Bellingcat, an international consortium of researchers, has published an analysis of video and audio evidence gathered on social media on May 11 from both Palestinian and Israeli military sources. Their analysis looked at factors like timestamps, the locations of the videos, shadows, and forensic audio analysis of gunshots. The group found that evidence supports witness accounts that Israeli fire killed Abu Akleh.

The death of Shireen Abu Akleh has triggered an outpouring of condemnation and calls for justice. The top Catholic clergyman in Jerusalem accused Israeli authorities of violating human rights, and disrespecting the Catholic Church during her funeral when mourners were beaten. In the UK, members of parliament have accused Israel of acting with impunity. And the UN Human Rights chief said anyone found responsible should be held to account with penal and disciplinary sanctions commensurate with the gravity of the violation.

In this episode we discuss the latest on the various investigations underway, and ask if there will be accountability for her killing.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Mona Shtaya, @Monashtayya
Advocacy Advisor, 7amleh

Jalal Abukhater, @JalalAK_jojo

Dana El Kurd, @danaelkurd
Assistant Professor, University of Richmond
Non-resident Senior Fellow, Arab Center Washington DC