Killing of Abu Akleh shows Israel targets Palestinian journalists | Israel-Palestine conflict


It’s the gruelling actuality of life underneath occupation that, most mornings, Palestinians are woke up with the information of Israel arresting or killing their individuals.

In the present day was one other a kind of devastating mornings.

Palestinians have been shocked by the information that veteran Palestinian journalist and Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces whereas masking an Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp within the occupied West Financial institution.

Abu Akleh was a Palestinian icon whose acquainted face and voice had entered the properties of thousands and thousands of Palestinians and Arabic audio system world wide for greater than twenty years, as she lined the Israeli occupation.

She was one of many courageous Palestinian voices who lined Israel’s lethal incursion on the Jenin refugee camp in 2002, which she wrote about final yr, saying:

“To me, Jenin will not be a one ephemeral story in my profession and even in my private life. It’s the metropolis that may increase my morale and assist me fly. It embodies the Palestinian spirit that generally trembles and falls however, past all expectations, rises to pursue its flights and desires.”

Now, 20 years later, Abu Akleh was killed in the identical place the place she so valiantly instructed the tales of Palestinian resistance underneath occupation for therefore a few years.

Journalists intentionally focused

The movies which have surfaced of the second Abu Akleh was shot are bone-chilling. The piercing screams of her colleagues ring via the display as Abu Akleh, nonetheless carrying her helmet and blue flak jacket marked with the phrases “PRESS”, lies face down close to a tree.

A younger Palestinian man from the realm manages to hop a fence and pull her physique to security, as gunfire rings within the background.

In response to the journalists who have been stationed round Abu Akleh, the group was clearly marked as press and made themselves identified to Israeli forces within the space.

Regardless of their clear press markings, Abu Akleh was shot within the face, and one other Palestinian journalist was shot within the again.

Regardless of Israeli claims that Abu Akleh was hit by Palestinian gunfire, journalists current on the scene say it was an Israeli sniper that focused them.

Abu Akleh’s killing is devastating, however it isn’t stunning.

For many years, Israel has focused Palestinian journalists masking the occupied Palestinian territory, killing dozens of reporters and injuring and imprisoning lots of extra.

Abu Akleh’s killing instantly brings again recollections of our colleague Yaser Murtaja, a younger Palestinian journalist in Gaza who was shot useless in 2018 by Israeli snipers whereas masking the Nice March of Return protests.

Murtaja, like Abu Akleh, was additionally clearly marked as press, and was killed whereas carrying his blue flak jacket.

Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq discovered that in the course of the Nice March of Return protests, Israeli forces intentionally focused Palestinian journalists with dwell hearth.

As journalists masking the occupied West Financial institution, we’ve turn out to be accustomed to Israeli assaults in opposition to us. When masking demonstrations or confrontations within the West Financial institution, journalists are sometimes shot at with tear gasoline, rubber bullets and dwell ammunition.

In instances the place Israeli aggression in opposition to journalists will not be deadly, it may well result in life-threatening accidents and lifelong disabilities. In 2019, Palestinian journalist Muath Amarneh misplaced his eye after Israeli forces shot him with a rubber-coated metal bullet.

In response to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), since Israel’s occupation of the West Financial institution, East Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967, an estimated 86 Palestinian journalists have been killed. Greater than half have been killed within the years since 2000.

Between 2020 and 2022 alone, PJS says that six Palestinian journalists have been killed within the occupied West Financial institution and Gaza.

Israeli impunity will proceed

It’s devastating sufficient to know that Abu Akleh will not be the primary Palestinian journalist to be killed by Israel, however it’s much more distressing to dwell with the data that she absolutely won’t be the final and that justice for her and her household is however a faraway dream, unlikely to ever be achieved.

Any expressions of “unhappiness” or requires an “investigation” into her dying by Israel or any of its supporters – together with the USA – are simply lip service and most definitely should not expressed in good religion.

Israel’s propaganda machine is already working in overdrive to deflect and reassign blame.

The federal government is circulating unverified videos, claiming that it was actually Palestinian gunfire that killed Abu Akleh; this regardless of numerous witness testimony from journalists on the scene stating that they have been stationed far-off from Palestinian fighters, and that it was Israeli gunfire that killed her.

The Israeli authorities has already positioned itself as a benevolent determine, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett saying it “has known as on the Palestinians to conduct a joint pathological evaluation and investigation, which might be based mostly on all the current documentation and findings, in an effort to get to the reality. Thus far, the Palestinians have refused this provide”.

However how can Israel be anticipated to hold out a correct investigation when it has already absolved itself of the crime?

We have now seen these similar techniques employed time and time once more. Within the few situations the place Israel launches an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian, these “investigations” are nearly at all times closed.

As B’Tselem, Israel’s main human rights organisation, put it beforehand, “aside from a handful of instances, normally involving low-ranking troopers, nobody has been placed on trial for harming Palestinians”.

Israel persistently violates worldwide human rights legal guidelines within the occupied territory, however hardly ever is accountability ever demanded by third-party states and the worldwide establishments liable for making certain and implementing justice.

The shortage of political will amongst world leaders, establishments, and businesses to carry Israel to account for its crimes was on full show final yr when Israel bombed the al-Jalaa tower in Gaza, house to the media workplaces of Al Jazeera and The Related Press.

As long as Israel continues to function with impunity and commit human rights violations with no accountability from the worldwide neighborhood, we are going to inevitably see extra of what we witnessed immediately.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



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