A Palestinian-American journalist was killed Wednesday while covering Israeli Army clashes with Palestinian militants in the West Bank city of Jenin. Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known journalist in the Arab world, worked for the international news network Al-Jazeera, covering events in the region focusing on Israeli disputes. While carrying out his professional duties and responsibilities, Shireen Abu Akleh was assassinated by Israel. She was reporting on an Israeli attack on the fetus.
Today, we witness an embarrassing silence on Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. It is not only Shireen Abu Akleh against whom the Israel Government have committed crimes but also other brave Palestinian women who have suffered the same fate. What is happening in Palestine is a stain on the foreheads of Western countries, countries that, if their interests are at stake, sacrifice all values and beliefs and throw them in the trash.
Covering Jenin events
Al-Jazeera first reported in a breaking news item that its correspondent, Shireen Abu Akleh, had been shot dead by the Israeli army while covering the Israeli army’s attack on the Jenin camp but announced that The Israeli Defence Forces had killed her a few minutes later. She was killed while wearing a press jacket. Contrary to international law and custom, the move by Israeli forces aimed to prevent the media from fulfilling its mission. Eyewitnesses in Palestine said that the shooting at Shireen Abu Akleh was intentional and that the bullet hit the lower part of the reporter’s ear, which was not covered by a helmet.
Recount of murder
A video from the moment of her death showed Shireen Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old veteran journalist, wearing a protective vest that showed he was a member of the news media. This video broadcast by Al-Jazeera does not show the shooting of Shireen Abu Akleh, But in the first seconds, the sound of gunfire is heard, and then a man shouts: “Injured! Shireen, Shireen, oh man, Shireen! Ambulance!” As he continues to call and say “ambulance,” the camera moves toward Shireen Abu Akleh, indicating that she has fallen to the ground with her face. Next to her in the video, another female reporter has been identified by Al Jazeera, “Shatha Hanaysha “. She was also wearing a “Press” jacket and a helmet, bent over, and tried to reach Shireen Abu Akleh. But she was forced to retreat by firing.
Hanaysha told Al Jazeera that there was no confrontation between Palestinian militants and the Israeli army when the bullets were fired at reporters. She added that the targets were journalists. “We were four journalists,” Hanaysha told Al Jazeera. “We all wore vests and helmets.” “Israeli forces” did not refrain from firing even after she fell to the ground, “she said. Because of the shooting, I could not even reach out to pull him towards me. “The army was shooting to kill intentionally.” According to the official Palestinian news agency, another Al-Jazeera journalist, Ali Al-Samoudi, also wearing a protective vest, was shot in the back, quoting the Ministry of Health. According to Al-Jazeera, his condition is stable.
Israeli forces shot at Shireen.
CNN quoted eyewitnesses in the Occupied Territories as saying in a report that the Israeli military had deliberately targeted an Al-Jazeera reporter. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces opened fire indiscriminately on reporters present at Palestinian demonstrations, including Shireen Abu Akleh. According to them, there were no armed Palestinians around him when Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was reporting.
Israel’s growing brutality
Haaretz published an article acknowledging that Shireen Abu Akleh had become a symbol of the brutality of the Israeli military and the suppression of press freedom. The Israeli newspaper further acknowledged that the Palestinians have no confidence in the Israeli army and police and that the world is in line to support Palestinian journalists.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Israeli sources saying that the Zionists had fired the bullet at the reporter. Still, Israeli officials had refused to identify the military who had committed the crime.
A producer who worked with Shireen Abu Akleh told the Associated Press that they were part of seven journalists who went to the crash scene early Wednesday to cover the Israeli soldiers’ attack. He said all of them were wearing bulletproof vests with the clear insignia of the reporter and walked past the Israeli soldiers so that the soldiers could see them and know that they were there.
Condemnation: Is it sufficient?
The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Naides, tweeted that he was “very saddened” to hear of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death and called for a “full investigation”. He also confirmed that the reporter was a US citizen.
State Department spokeswoman Ned Price posted a message on social media expressing regret over the killing of Al Jazeera’s female correspondent in the occupied West Bank. Her statement reads: We strongly condemn the murder of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank. The investigation process must be carried out quickly and comprehensively, and the authorities must be held accountable. Her death is a blow to press freedom around the world.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the assassination of Abu Akleh and called for an investigation into it and respect for the freedom of the press and the activities of journalists.
Appalled but futile
The UN secretary-general said that he was horrified by the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist for Al-Jazeera television who was shot dead while covering an Israeli security operation in Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Expressing his condolences to the family of Shireen Abu Akleh and wishing her colleague a speedy recovery, he called on the relevant authorities to conduct an independent and transparent investigation into the murder and ensure that those responsible are held accountable. Guterres condemned all attacks and killings of journalists and stressed that journalists should never be targeted for violence. The UN Secretary-General emphasised that a free press was essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights.
US officials’ indignation
Rashidah Tlaib, US congressman, said: “Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by the government, which receives unconditional financial assistance from our country without any responsibility.” Addressing US officials, Tlaib said: “When will those who stand by the apartheid and racism of the Israeli regime say that this is enough?”
Reacting to the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “Congress is committed to defending the freedom of expression around the world and to all journalists, especially in conflict areas.”
“The murder of Shireen Abu Akleh is shameful and should be investigated immediately,” said Democrat Mark Pocan. Representative Andre Carson said the United States should hold the Israeli government responsible for what happened and for the violence. “We are horrified that journalist Abu Akleh was killed while covering the Israeli military operation in Jenin,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet wrote on her Twitter account.
US-Israel political tension
Hebrew-language media quoted Israeli political circles as saying they were worried that the assassination of Abu Akleh would turn into a political crisis between the United States and Israel because she also had American citizenship. In this regard, referring to the issue of Abu Akleh, the Hebrew-language news site Walla stressed that this incident could create a severe political crisis for Israel. “Israel knows that it is tough to change the story of the killing of Abu Akleh in its favour, so as soon as it became aware of the American citizenship of Al-Jazeera, it took a overall political stance on the incident,” it added.
Invasion is condemned
The incident in the Jenin region reinforced the Palestinians’ claim over the past few months that there was no difference between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The world should address the two issues in the same way. Senior Israeli officials have stressed that the Israel Government cannot reduce the damage caused by the incident.
The assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh by the Zionist militia as her execution was apparent in broad daylight to kill anyone who witnessed it; because she exposed the occupiers and their crimes and their racist nature and portrayed their savagery that reached the point of madness.
These lies, that Israel respects the press and journalists and guarantees freedom of expression among them, or that “Israel has an invincible army” have deceived some but have never been able to convince the media and journalists.
The coward army
The media and journalists are considered Israel’s staunchest enemies; because they portray its weakness, helplessness, inability, and military well. The “army” that assassinated Shireen Abu Akleh is the most cowardly army afraid of the camera and sound and does not deserve to be called “army”. They killed Shireen, but they have forgotten that the Palestinian people have thousands of Shirin who are determined to portray the crime and cowardice of the Zionists in front of the eyes of the world.
Westerners chanted slogans in Russia’s war against Ukraine under the pretext of defending democracy but remained silent in the face of the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh. Israel has just killed 58 Palestinians this year. This is while no voice is coming from the West. In Ukraine, however, we see Westerners shouting and talking about human rights abuses. All US Secretary of State – Republicans and Democrats – all support and continue to support Israeli crimes. The fact is that with the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, The Israel Army assassinated the truth. This is not the first time the Israeli army has committed such a crime.
The Israelis have killed several Palestinian journalists in the past. The reason for these crimes against journalists is that Tel Aviv does not want public opinion to know the reality of what is happening in the occupied territories. They want the truth to be reflected only through their view of others. It is clear from the statements of the Israeli officials that they do not consider the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh a crime. They did not apologise for this crime. They even said what is wrong with shooting journalists?
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