Slain journalist

News of the incident reverberated rapidly across the region, sparked outrage among the Palestinian and media community

May 15, 2022


Our deepest condolences go out to the bereaved family of the slain journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh. She was reporting for Al Jazeera in the occupied West Bank while wearing a vest with the letters ‘PRESS’ across it when an Israeli sniper shot and killed her. Her colleagues managed to hide from the barrage of gunshots that followed but were unable to help Abu Akleh at the time. The news of the incident reverberated rapidly across the region and sparked much outrage among the Palestinian and media community.

But Israel’s systematic repression has not allowed for any upheaval. Israeli police began to close down roads that led to the hospital where the body was transferred following reports of a massive gathering. They then fired stun grenades and assaulted the mourners carrying her coffin, forcing them to use a vehicle for transportation from the hospital. At the main funeral, a number of restrictions were imposed including a ban on Palestinian flags and posters, and the chanting of nationalistic songs. This gives you a glimpse of the evil tactics used by Israel against the hapless Palestinians. International humanitarian laws and conventions explicitly condemn violence against media professionals engaged in work in areas of armed conflict. Israel continues to spew lie after lie while well-renowned news organisations are twisting the rhetoric either to support Israel or to undermine the incident altogether. However, Abu Akleh’s colleagues who were present during the time of the incident insist that she was targeted “deliberately” and “in cold blood”. Will the world community not hold Israel accountable for their war crimes? Does their past legitimise these brutal forms of violence perpetuated against the vulnerable?

The hypocrisy is evident and deplorable. We have lost a highly respected journalist whose relentless coverage of Palestine was known across the globe, and we will continue to lose many more until the international community garners the courage to set aside their biases and call out on heinous acts of violence, brutality and suppression.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2022.

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