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Thread: The (ongoing) killing of Shereen Abu Aqleh

  1. #1

    Default The (ongoing) killing of Shereen Abu Aqleh

    After well-loved Palestinian-American reporter Shereen Abu Aqleh killed herself by crossing paths with a bullet, I thought that would be the end of it. But it turns out Israeli police had received intel that she was about to return from the grave as a zombie, and thus launched a valiant last-minute operation to neutralize that unholy threat before it could get out of hand:

    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  2. #2
    Israeli police moved in on a crowd of mourners at the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, beating demonstrators with batons and causing pallbearers to briefly drop the casket.
    beating demonstrators with batons and causing pallbearers to briefly drop the casket.
    demonstrators
    ???
    We're sleepwalking
    Piercing, hateful eyes are watching
    We're sleepwalking
    The hungry ghosts are never patient

  3. #3
    Yes Demonstrators.

    "Police said the crowd at the hospital was chanting "nationalist incitement," ignored calls to stop and threw stones at police. "The policemen were forced to act," police said."

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Yes Demonstrators.

    "Police said the crowd at the hospital was chanting "nationalist incitement," ignored calls to stop and threw stones at police. "The policemen were forced to act," police said."
    If you look closely at the video you can see the pallbearers throwing rocks with their third arm (secret Palestinian weapon)
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Yes Demonstrators.

    "Police said the crowd at the hospital was chanting "nationalist incitement," ignored calls to stop and threw stones at police. "The policemen were forced to act," police said."
    The police have absolutely no business showing up at a funeral they caused in full riot gear, demanding people stop chanting anything.
    We're sleepwalking
    Piercing, hateful eyes are watching
    We're sleepwalking
    The hungry ghosts are never patient

  6. #6
    The police didn't cause the funeral. But clearly a failure of de-escalation.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    The police have absolutely no business showing up at a funeral they caused in full riot gear, demanding people stop chanting anything.
    Was the crowd throwing rocks?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Was the crowd throwing rocks?
    Are you the same person defending the Jan. 6 insurrectionists who were doing far more than throwing rocks? Should they all have been mowed down?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Are you the same person defending the Jan. 6 insurrectionists who were doing far more than throwing rocks? Should they all have been mowed down?
    Yes lethal force should have been used to repel the Jan 6 idiots.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Are you the same person defending the Jan. 6 insurrectionists who were doing far more than throwing rocks? Should they all have been mowed down?
    Schh don't distract him from deleting his "great replacement" posts
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  11. #11
    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/24/m...ntl/index.html

    Not looking good for Israel. Substantial evidence that there were no Palestinian gunmen in the area and that the journalist was a deliberate target of the IDF.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  12. #12
    This is essentially the same information Bellingcat had a week ago. There's reasonably good circumstantial evidence that an Israeli gun killed her and has been for some time; it appears that the Israeli inquiry has zeroed on a specific rifle as the most likely source of the bullet. There's little we can get for proof without the bullet itself, though. As for targeting or intentionality there doesn't appear to be anywhere enough information to make a determination. The AP and Bellingcat analyses we're rather more restrained in their speculation. Time will tell - at least potentially.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  13. #13
    There's information mentioned in the article about how there's evidence the gunshots were clustered around the journalist and weren't a result of random (or untargeted) shooting. There's also information in there about there being no reason for the Israelis to actually fire at people, especially when they knew the people they were firing at were from the press. The fact the Israelis are still claiming the journalist was likely killed by a Palestinian bullet tells me everything I need to know about the IDF's intent to have a proper investigation.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    There's information mentioned in the article about how there's evidence the gunshots were clustered around the journalist and weren't a result of random (or untargeted) shooting. There's also information in there about there being no reason for the Israelis to actually fire at people, especially when they knew the people they were firing at were from the press. The fact the Israelis are still claiming the journalist was likely killed by a Palestinian bullet tells me everything I need to know about the IDF's intent to have a proper investigation.
    You and I are not reading the same things about what Israelis are claiming, Loki. In the first ~24 hours after the shooting, there was a knee-jerk 'we didn't do it!' along with some ill-advised social media that purported to provide evidence of that (which really only provided evidence that Israeli troops had come under fire in Jenin that evening/morning, nothing else). But very rapidly that stance shifted to 'it might have been us', and it appears that the preliminary inquiry keeps the option open to blame a Palestinian gun for the killing, but that another likely scenario explicitly focused on a soldier shooting from inside a vehicle using a telescopic sight.

    That's an obviously detailed stance to take and indicates that internally at least the IDF thinks it's not-unlikely that they were responsible for her death. Such a scenario would also match the existing data that is publicly available, including the clustering/type of controlled gunfire (which is not new, Bellingcat talked about this last week). In any scenario where she was killed by Israeli gunfire absent crossfire/ricochets/etc. that is what the shot clustering would look like - that's how Israeli troops are trained to use their rifles.

    However, I think you are jumping to the same conclusion CNN is: that the soldier that shot Abu Akleh was (a) trying to shoot at her specifically, (b) knew she was the press, and/or (c) actually knew she was Abu Akleh. The first is possible or even probable, the second is relatively unlikely but possible (but wildly unlikely to be done under orders), and the third stretches credulity. You are assuming that someone 200 meters away in poor lighting (despite wearing Press tags) was positively identified as a noncombatant and then targeted, rather than mistakenly targeted as a combatant. I have no information to support either conclusion, and frankly without a much better understanding of that happened that night I doubt anyone will.

    Noncombatants die all the time in these kinds of operations. It's not pretty, and at times it's probably also a crime (depending on the circumstances), but it's not unusual. What's unusual is that people give a shit about it, because elites actually knew who Abu Akleh was and are making a big deal. Several other civilians have died in Jenin in the last 1-2 months of raids following the surge of attacks in Israel. No one cares about them because, well, they weren't famous journalists.

    I don't have any special belief that an Israeli investigation will be particularly effective here. Militaries rarely do a good job of investigating themselves, and Israel's is no exception - throw in the reality that there's no way the PA will work with the Israelis, it's unlikely we'll ever get a full accounting of what happened here. This doesn't mean that we should just absolve everyone involved of civilian casualties or shouldn't try to figure out what happened (and that Israel should be encouraged to exercise greater caution in protecting noncombatants in complex urban environments), but CNN's 'investigation' brought little additional information to the table but did arrive at additional conclusions. I honestly thought I was just reading a rehash of Bellingcat.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  15. #15
    There seems to be substantial evidence that the IDF shot 18 bullets in the direction of the journalist. There is substantial evidence that there were no Palestinian gunmen in that vicinity at the time of the shooting. It doesn't seem the IDF would know who specifically they were shooting, and it's unclear if they knew they were shooting at journalists. At the very least, the IDF murdered someone who was not a threat. No one has been punished for that act.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/20/w...g-shireen.html
    Hope is the denial of reality

  16. #16
    It's been interesting seeing the way articles about the shooting are disseminated throughout different social networks. Among right-wing Swedes—and esp. right-wing Swedish Zionists—it's all just opinion pieces calling for nuance and/or casting the blame on Palestinians—or, incredibly, on the murder victim herself. This piece—and the CNN piece before it—may as well not exist.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  17. #17
    This conflict has gone on for too long for most people to interpret each new event on its own merits.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  18. #18
    Israel still refusing to admit to obvious facts.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-61916554
    Hope is the denial of reality

  19. #19
    "Shireen Abu Aqla: UN says an Israeli shot killed Al Jazeera journalist"

    Oh, okay United Nations.

    Wiggin, any sense on why the Palestinian Authority won't release the bullets from her body? I think a lot of folks suspect it would actually implicate the Israeli troops based on evidence so far, so I'm surprised it's not being released.

  20. #20
    Dread, have you read any of the investigative reports on this? The evidence is overwhelming that the Israelis shot her.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  21. #21
    I have, and I agree it was likely an Israeli bullet. But I have also read that the PA won't turn over bullet fragments that could make this a lot more conclusive, and I don't understand why.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    I have, and I agree it was likely an Israeli bullet. But I have also read that the PA won't turn over bullet fragments that could make this a lot more conclusive, and I don't understand why.
    The bullet isn't necessary. Why fixate on an irrelevant detail instead of on Israel's continued insistence that it's unclear which side fired the bullet?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Wiggin, any sense on why the Palestinian Authority won't release the bullets from her body? I think a lot of folks suspect it would actually implicate the Israeli troops based on evidence so far, so I'm surprised it's not being released.
    Dread, I think this is in no way surprising. There has been an utter breakdown in trust (or even basic security coordination) between Israel and the PA. It would have been difficult but not impossible to imagine some sort of joint investigation (or working with a relatively trusted third party) decades ago, but that has not been the case for quite some time. What does the PA have to gain by supplying the bullet?

    The best scenario is that Israel confirms it was fired from an IDF rifle and then proceeds to argue it's not a crime because of warzone etc. (IDF may be right here, but wouldn't make the PA happy.) In the meantime, their cooperation with the Israelis legitimizes the Israeli investigation.

    Worse off would be if the bullet genuinely doesn't match an IDF rifle (unlikely as that may seem given the current information available) - the PA definitely loses out there.

    And conspiratorial voices in the PA might worry that Israel will fabricate evidence to show just that - given the lack of trust, I suspect a lot of the PA leadership might suspect precisely such an outcome.

    Uncertainty benefits the PA here, since most people assume Israel is at fault, especially given the reasonably convincing circumstantial evidence to that effect. Reading between the lines, it looks like Israel believes that is likely as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The bullet isn't necessary. Why fixate on an irrelevant detail instead of on Israel's continued insistence that it's unclear which side fired the bullet?
    Loki, I do think that your rhetoric is a little too certain. Operations in Jenin are complex and frequently bloody precisely because it's so difficult to truly find the source of fire. I agree that the circumstantial evidence to date (and Israel's own admissions) suggest that IDF fire is the likely source of the gunfire that killed Abu Akleh. I don't think it's overwhelming, though, just highly suggestive. A ballistics analysis would provide certainty - and, if Israel had compelling reasons to believe that their rules of engagement were violated, it would provide hard evidence to back up a prosecution.

    Practically, of course, there is little functional difference, and a prosecution is quite unlikely even if the gunfire source was confirmed.

    As for Israel's insistence on uncertainty, I think it's partly genuine, partly politics, and partly a learned behavior. Do you remember the whole mess during the beginning of the 2nd intifada with Muhammad Al Durra? Israel's knee-jerk response there was to accept likely culpability for the shot that killed him, though to place ultimate responsibility with Palestinians for using 'human shields' (which was itself problematic since it looks like they were just caught in crossfire). Since then, there have been a variety of analyses - some more credible than others - suggesting that IDF bullets may not have actually killed him. But retracting a claim of culpability 5 years after the fact does little for the immediate opprobrium. Israel has tended to shy away from claiming responsibility for any killings absent incontrovertible proof in the decades since then.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  24. #24
    ^^ these are all good points. Forgot about the Al Durra case.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Loki, I do think that your rhetoric is a little too certain. Operations in Jenin are complex and frequently bloody precisely because it's so difficult to truly find the source of fire. I agree that the circumstantial evidence to date (and Israel's own admissions) suggest that IDF fire is the likely source of the gunfire that killed Abu Akleh. I don't think it's overwhelming, though, just highly suggestive. A ballistics analysis would provide certainty - and, if Israel had compelling reasons to believe that their rules of engagement were violated, it would provide hard evidence to back up a prosecution.

    Practically, of course, there is little functional difference, and a prosecution is quite unlikely even if the gunfire source was confirmed.

    As for Israel's insistence on uncertainty, I think it's partly genuine, partly politics, and partly a learned behavior. Do you remember the whole mess during the beginning of the 2nd intifada with Muhammad Al Durra? Israel's knee-jerk response there was to accept likely culpability for the shot that killed him, though to place ultimate responsibility with Palestinians for using 'human shields' (which was itself problematic since it looks like they were just caught in crossfire). Since then, there have been a variety of analyses - some more credible than others - suggesting that IDF bullets may not have actually killed him. But retracting a claim of culpability 5 years after the fact does little for the immediate opprobrium. Israel has tended to shy away from claiming responsibility for any killings absent incontrovertible proof in the decades since then.
    Wig, no offense, but I'm going to trust independent war crimes investigators over the IDF. I know one of the people involved, they have no sympathy toward Palestinians, they've never exaggerated their degree of confidence, and they are absolute sure that the Israelis fired the shot that killed the reporter. Up 'til now, the only ones that questioned their judgement were the Russian and Syrian governments. Israel can play all kind of linguistic games it wants, but the evidence is clear and overwhelming. The fact that Israel is focusing on irrelevant factors is telling.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  26. #26
    I mean, in Israel's defense, they aren't the only ones focusing on irrelevant factors
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Wig, no offense, but I'm going to trust independent war crimes investigators over the IDF. I know one of the people involved, they have no sympathy toward Palestinians, they've never exaggerated their degree of confidence, and they are absolute sure that the Israelis fired the shot that killed the reporter. Up 'til now, the only ones that questioned their judgement were the Russian and Syrian governments. Israel can play all kind of linguistic games it wants, but the evidence is clear and overwhelming. The fact that Israel is focusing on irrelevant factors is telling.
    I'm not suggesting you should trust the IDF and distrust the various investigations. I'm suggesting that based on the evidence that has been made publicly available, there is an incomplete understanding of precisely what happened in Jenin that morning. I agree based on acoustic analysis and the positioning of forces it is probable that Israel fired those shots - certainly that appears to be what Israel believes is likely, which is rather more compelling evidence than Palestinian testimonials in this case. But unless there's something that hasn't been made public, I just don't think the evidence is overwhelming as you describe it.

    I have read in detail the various journalistic outlets that released their analyses. I also read the press release from the UN (though it didn't appear to be tied to any other document that I could find?). I think there is a reasonably high probability that Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli gunfire; I just haven't seen evidence to provide certainty. Why do you find this unreasonable? Perhaps my standard for proof is higher than those of the investigator you are acquainted with, which may stem from differences in our professional backgrounds - perhaps the evidence on hand is indeed 'overwhelming' for this kind of investigation. In my world, it would merely be strongly suggestive. Alternatively, they are privy to more data than I have gleaned from open source reporting.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  28. #28
    Perhaps my standard for proof is higher than those of the investigator you are acquainted with, which may stem from differences in our professional backgrounds
    Or... perhaps your standard for proof is higher for events that paint Israel in a bad light? Or do you break out the ole' Pyrrhonic skepticism for, like, every single thing that happens?
    We're sleepwalking
    Piercing, hateful eyes are watching
    We're sleepwalking
    The hungry ghosts are never patient

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post

    The Middle East's only normal-ass democracy.
    Just noticed this part. What is it that makes it normal?
    .

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    Or... perhaps your standard for proof is higher for events that paint Israel in a bad light? Or do you break out the ole' Pyrrhonic skepticism for, like, every single thing that happens?
    You know, Steely, it's possible that I tend to view absolutist statements about Israel with a greater degree of skepticism - certainly we see no shortage of calumnies and knee-jerk reactions (as, for example, early statements by Al Jazeera and the PA in this case) regarding Israel and so I tend to take a rather skeptical approach in response. (I should note that I also tend to view knee jerk defenses of any Israeli action through the same lens.) I do think that on the balance it's reasonable to conclude she was likely shot by an Israeli soldier, just not 'overwhelming evidence' to that effect. I would hesitate to quantify my level of certainty because such quantifications are largely unmoored from any mathematical reality, but if someone suggested it was 80 or 90% likely, I wouldn't disagree. (I should note that the physical evidence that was in question here - the bullets - appear to be inconclusive since the PA handed them over for analysis. I imagine there is still some information that can come to light from operational details on the IDF side, but whether it becomes public knowledge is as yet unknown. We're probably going to be left with IDF being responsible for her killing to a reasonable but not high level of certainty.)

    That being said, I do think that I live in a world of substantial uncertainty. I've been trained to be suspicious of every piece of data and to restrict my conclusions only to what I or someone else has proven. If we want to get technical, my beliefs about any given thing exist in a level of probabilistic uncertainty that is updated with a better estimate of 'truth' and uncertainty as I get more information. I don't think you need to go far even on my posting here to find times when I have refused to draw a firm conclusion in the absent of compelling evidence (one memorable thread I remember was the hullabaloo about Dominique Strauss Kahn years ago, but there are many others). I am fundamentally skeptical, especially when data is clearly incomplete.

    Whether this skepticism is increased in cases of Israel is an interesting question - certainly I post more consistently about Israel than other stories, and tend to have far more information on hand about any given Israel story than other discussions here. Perhaps that greater level of interest and information should mean I should be less skeptical, so even if I'm at my base level of uncertainty that would be a telling signal! I'll have to think about it.

    Also - solid word, Pyrrhonic.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

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