Al Jazeera film ‘shows’ IDF killed Abu Akleh – but who’s the main witness?

Documentary by Al Jazeera cites terrorist sympathizer as key witness to back claim Israeli troops intentionally shot reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.

By World Israel News Staff

Al Jazeera’s petition to the International Criminal Court against the State of Israel appears to be relying on testimony and footage compiled for a recent documentary film, one which leans heavily on the claims made by an openly anti-Israel journalist with a history of support for terrorism.

On Tuesday, the Qatari media outlet announced its plan to take Israel to court over the death of Arab-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot and killed in Jenin while covering clashes between Islamic Jihad terrorists and IDF troops in the flashpoint city on May 11.

“The claim by the Israeli authorities that Shireen was killed by mistake in an exchange of fire is completely unfounded,” Al Jazeera said in a statement about the filing of the complaint at the ICC.

The ICC petition rests on new “evidence” which proves, according to Al Jazeera, that not only was Abu Akleh shot and killed by an IDF soldier, but Israeli forces intentionally targeted reporters during the Jenin gun battle.

“The evidence shows that this deliberate killing was part of a wider campaign to target and silence Al Jazeera,” the lawsuit states

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Last Thursday, the outlet released a 38-minute film, titled “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh,” as part of the “Fault Lines” series. The documentary includes segments of footage from the scene in Jenin during the incident, spliced with testimony by witnesses present in the area at the time.

One of the star witnesses interviewed for the segment is Shatha Hanaysha, a correspondent for Ultra Palestine and contributor to Middle East Eye.

“I don’t think we were targeted as journalists, I’m sure we were targeted as journalists,” Hanaysha said, claiming she had to conceal herself behind a tree to avoid IDF fire.

“I remember when I saw the blood on the ground, when the blood started coming out, that’s when I realized she had taken a bullet to the head.”

Hanaysha’s claims in the past regarding the May 11th incident have contradicted not only the sequence of events as laid out by Israel, but as accepted by investigators and media outlets including CNN.

Among other things, Hanaysha alleged that Israeli snipers operating out of a building shot and killed Abu Akleh, though Israeli soldiers present in the area were in military vehicles some 200 meters away from the journalists’ position.

Furthermore, Hanaysha has claimed that the Islamic Jihad terrorists who traded fire with Israeli forces were not present at the time of the shooting.

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In the past, Hanaysha has opened promoted Arab terrorism, lauding Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorists who detonated a bomb in western Samaria, killing 17-year-old Rina Schnerb and injuring her father and brother.

“Maybe this attack would become a model to follow, which would make ‘hiking trips’ in the hills and plains of West Bank, an adventure of undesirable consequences,” Hanaysha tweeted at the time.

The comment was later deleted from Hanaysha’s account.

Another journalist cited heavily in the documentary, Mujahed al-Saadi, has been repeatedly arrested in Israel over pro-terrorist incitement and support for terrorism

In 2016, al-Saadi was sentenced to seven months in prison and fined 5,000 shekels.

In 2020, al-Saadi, who has worked for the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News Agency, was placed under administrative arrest.

According to a report by Palestine Today TV, prior to 2016, al-Saadi served five years in an Israeli prison.