Earlier today, we complained to the Independent about the following headline, which states, as a fact, unverified claims that IDF soldiers killed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during clashes with Palestinian terrorists this morning in Jenin.
In contrast, the Guardian, for instance, was far more careful, publishing an article on the incident with the following headline: “Al Jazeera accuses Israeli forces of killing journalist in West Bank”.
As we noted to Indy editors in our complaint, their headline wasn’t supported by the article itself, which noted only that the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera and (initially) the Palestinian Authority claimed that Israel was to blame, whilst also reporting Israeli statements that it was likely Palestinian terrorists shot Abu Aqla, The Indy article also reported that Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid offered the Palestinians “a joint pathological investigation into the sad death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh”. However, Palestinians later refused Israel’s offer, and Abu Akleh was buried a few hours later.
The funeral of the Al Jazeera reporter is currently being held. Very quickly with armed guard surrounding the body. pic.twitter.com/y8Jxa7ByeR
— Chaim (@ChaimSmierc) May 11, 2022
Later in the morning, Israel’s defence minister Benny Gantz said that, while awaiting the results of their full investigation, initial findings show that IDF fire was not directed at the journalist.
Additionally, videos circulated on Twitter showing Palestinian terrorists operating in the area claiming that they had shot an Israeli soldier. However, the fact that no soldiers were injured during the operation suggested that they may have hit Abu Akleh. And, while it was later claimed that the Palestinians in that video weren’t in the vicinity of the journalist, other reporters provided evidence that there were other Palestinian shooters within proximity to her.
Though there is still nothing approaching conclusive evidence regarding who killed the journalist, by the time of this post there were reports that even the Palestinian Authority was backtracking on their initial claims of Israeli responsibility.
The Palestinians are already walking back their claim that the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot by an Israeli soldier: according to initial findings by Palestinian forensic doctors, it is "unclear" who fired the bullet and from where. (Maariv)
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) May 11, 2022
To their credit, Indy editors ultimately revised the headline, which now accurately states that ‘Israeli guilt’ is merely an Al Jazeera accusation:
‘Eleven Days in May’: anti-Israel propaganda at a cinema near you.
Can I point out that “ no IDF fire was not directed at the journalist.” is a double negative and means the opposite of what was intended
Thanks. We’ll fix that.
Usual Grauniad/Independent/BBC reporting tactic – Headline against Israel – Correction as late as possible afterwards – when readers have moved on. Maybe Israel should stoop to copy this level in their reporting ?