Israeli forces fired at Palestinians attempting to rescue journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, footage shows

Israeli forces fired at Palestinians attempting to rescue journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, footage shows
In footage from the scene of Shireen Abu Akleh's murder, one man can be heard desperately calling out, 'Shireen, Shireen' and urging someone to bring her to safety, after Israeli forces shot her in the head.
3 min read
11 May, 2022
Shireen Abu Akleh was a highly respected Palestinian journalist who worked for Al Jazeera [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency/Getty]

Israeli forces fired at Palestinians trying desperately to rescue Shireen Abu Akleh after the veteran journalist was shot in the head in the occupied West Bank, according to footage from the scene.

A graphic video posted to Instagram showed Abu Akleh, who was later pronounced dead, slumped face down on the ground and wearing a press vest in Jenin refugee camp after she was shot by Israeli forces.

One man can be heard calling out "Shireen, Shireen," urging someone to bring her to safety, as another woman journalist attempted to reach out to Abu Akleh.

At one point, a Palestinian man tried to carry the downed journalist but was forced to flee as a gunshot rang out nearby.

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Witnesses have confirmed that it was Israeli forces who shot the celebrated Al Jazeera reporter dead and others said they were the source of the gunfire aimed at the rescuers.

After escorting the second journalist to safety over a wall, the rescuer returned, lifting Abu Akleh from the ground, her bloodied head visible to the camera.

One of those at the scene recited part of the Shahadah, or Muslim profession of faith, commonly made in moments of suffering and pain, saying: "There is no God except Allah."

Palestinians also shouted "Allahu akbar", or "God is the greatest", as several other men joined to help rush Abu Akleh into a waiting car.

A separate video by Israeli rights group B'Tselem dispelled Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's claim that it was "likely that armed Palestinians" shot Abu Akleh.

The video proved that Palestinian gunfire occurred at a separate location in Jenin from where Abu Akleh was killed.

B'Tselem said: "[The] documentation of Palestinian gunfire distributed by [the] Israeli military cannot be the gunfire that killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh."

Witnesses accompanying Abu Akleh at the scene of the shooting confirmed there were no armed Palestinians present and all members of the television crew were clearly identifiable in press uniform, including a safety vest and helmet.

Testimony from the witnesses said the Israeli military had continued to shoot at the crew even after Abu Akleh was killed, preventing them from retrieving her body. 

As more information continued to surface, the Israeli military backtracked from initial claims that the veteran journalist was shot by Palestinian gunmen.

Israeli military chief of staff General Kokhavi said "at the moment it is not possible to determine from which fire Abu Akleh was killed".