The investigation uncovered how Israel has avoided accountability in its killing of other Palestinian journalists over the years.
Audio recordings from the killing of renowned journalist Shireen Abu Akleh have surfaced, providing further proof of Israel’s occupation forces being the sole perpetrators of the crime.
The revelations came in Al Jazeera Arabic’s latest episode of its investigative documentary “What is Hidden is Greater” (Ma Khafiya A’tham), which aired on Friday under the title “The Murder of Evidence”.
The episode revealed the findings of a team from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who had conducted a field investigation in Jenin where Abu Akleh was shot and killed on 11 May by Israel.
Speaking to the Qatar-based broadcaster, American expert who analysed the recordings, Stephen Buck, said that the “acoustic analysis of bullets and their directions settled the controversy over who fired them.”
“The shooting was from a distance of about 200 meters from the side of the Israeli forces only […] I think it strongly supports the fact that gunfire came from the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces],” Buck told Al Jazeera.
Widely known as the “voice of Palestine”, the American-Palestinian journalist was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin. She was targeted despite clearly identifying as a member of the press with her vest and helmet.
Israel was quick to attempt to distort the narrative the moment Abu Akleh was killed by claiming she was allegedly shot by “armed Palestinians”.
However, investigations, most notably by rights group B’Tselem, along with eyewitnesses’ testimonies countered Israel’s claims. Israel later admitted to the crime saying the shooting was “accidental” as all evidence pointed to them being the killers of Abu Akleh.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, British security consultant Chris Cobb-Smith said that the bullets that targeted Abu Akleh “were not random, but deliberate.”
Cobb-Smith had probed the killing of late British freelance cameraman and film director James Miller in 2003 in Rafah, southern Gaza.
The British security expert noted that Israel had attempted to hide the name of the soldier who killed Miller, showing a pattern in the occupation’s deviation from accountability.
Cobb-Smith said that he had “no doubt” that pressure by the British government at the time led to the financial compensation of Miller’s family, offering a double-standard approach into the killing of Palestinian journalists.
Other famous cases that were brought up include the killing of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana in 2008 in the besieged Gaza Strip. Similarly, Israel claimed it did not see Shana and was unable to determine whether he was carrying a camera or weapon.
In November last year, reports revealed that the FBI had opened an investigation into the murder of Abu Akleh in a move that angered former Israeli defence Minister Benny Gantz.
The move would see Washington, Tel Aviv’s main ally, looking into Israeli soldiers involved in the killing of the veteran journalist.
In its probe, a senior official in Gantz’s office said the former defence minister had admitted to US officials’ responsibility for the killing.
“The official told his American counterparts that the killing was a mistake and that Israel would not announce or officially admit it,” Al Jazeera said.
Last year, Al Jazeera took up the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to seek justice for its journalist.
Karim Khan, the ICC’s prosecutor, was also under scrutiny for apparent delays in the investigation of the killing of Abu Akleh.
Raji Al-Sorani, a Palestinian lawyer and director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera that the ICC’s prosecutor “practices political selectivity, and Ukraine is a good example”.
Khan’s office also rejected Al Jazeera’s interview request over Abu Akleh’s case.
In addition to the killing of Abu Akleh, Israeli occupation forces attacked pallbearers holding the late journalist’s coffin in one of the biggest funerals Palestine has witnessed.
To date, Israel has also not been held to account for the violent attacks on the pallbearers, some of whom were detained whilst mourning.
On 11 May, Dr. Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network called on the ICC “to not hesitate and stall the process of justice until people forget the case.”
Since 2000, Israel has killed 55 Palestinian journalists with 15 currently detained in Israeli prisons.