Author of article on journalist's killing biased in favour of Israel

A Palestinian man gestures as he speaks to members of the media in front of a house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on July 16, 2014. [File, Standard]

By trying to cover up for the crime of assassination of Palestinian veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during an Israeli army raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the author of the article titled, ‘Palestine frustrating investigations into Al Jazeera journalist’s killing’, which was published in The Standard on May 31, risks becoming an accomplice to the crime committed against civilians in Palestine.

It was sad to read the article by someone from an organisation called “friends of Israel”, which has no physical presence or impartial representation in the occupied territories. He has made himself the best judge of a conflict that has been thoroughly analysed over many years by specialised international bodies and individual experts.

The author has exposed his lack impartiality and immoral levers of subjectivity by the amount of contradictions and legal inaccuracies reflected in the op-ed. These are addressed below:

One. The author failed to mention to the reader that the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority are all under the military control of Israel, the occupying power, failing to recall that the city of Jenin in the West Bank has been targeted on a daily basis by Israeli military armed forces, particularly since the beginning of May 2022. On May 21, a 17-year-old boy was killed and an 18-year-old was critically wounded by the Israeli bullets during its aggression on Jenin.

Two. The author of the article, who was not a witness to the events leading to the assassination of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, has based his blind defence of Israel on no scientific, legal, or military basis. For him, Israel cannot be incriminated - Full stop. Thankfully, it is by the hands of respectful Israeli human rights organisations that the fictional narrative of the Occupation Army has been falsified.

Three. The article praises Israel, the occupying power, that it “stands out in the Middle East for its strong support of freedom of speech as part of its thriving democracy”. By doing so, the author deliberately ignored the consecutive reports issued over the past three years by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. These reputable organisations have issued a number of reports concluding that Israel is an Apartheid State, committing the crime of Apartheid and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Four. For the author of this article and all ignorant others who are pushing for a joint investigation with Israel, the occupying power, on the assassination of the the journalist, we remind them that among the few basic rules of a just and impartial investigation, is one that calls for non-inclusion of the party suspected of committing a crime in the investigation. This rule entirely disqualifies Israel, the occupying power, if a decent and objective investigation is to be conducted. In addition, an Apartheid State as described by Amnesty International, on basis of committing crimes against humanity under international criminal law, shall definitely be excluded from any investigation, for the investigation to be genuine.

Five. How can anyone trust a judicial system whose judges reject the claim that the prohibition of forcible transfer set forth in international law, considering it not enforceable in a domestic court, and calling it a treaty norm instead? In other words, Israel explicitly considers itself a state above international law. Adding to this, and ironically enough, Israel’s Military Police Criminal Investigation Division believes an investigation that treats Israeli soldiers as suspects will lead to opposition within Israeli society, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported in May. And according to an article by Al Jazeera on May 19, 2022, sourced by Israeli media, it was announced that “The Israeli military is not planning to investigate the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh”.

Six. The author of the article in The Standard also accused the Palestinians of not “cooperating in order to reveal the truth” regarding the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh. He mislead the readers again by hiding the fact that the Palestinian Attorney General as well as the Permanent Representative of the State of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour have expressed the Palestinians call for a full, independent, international investigation and agreed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should conduct the investigation. The ICC has already opened an investigation into possible war crimes by Israel in both the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Despite that Israel, the occupying power does not recognise the court’s jurisdiction and has called the war crimes probe unfair and “anti semitic”.

Seven. On the last point in the article referring to any comparison to the atrocities of the apartheid regime in South Africa, it is amazing how the author considers himself more legally, and politically superior to international organisations like UN Security Council, UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Rapporteurs on the issue of Palestine, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among others. This distorted image of Israel is exactly the reason it has managed to get away with being held accountable for its crimes thus far.