Once again, Palestinians wake up to a new crime perpetrated by the Israeli occupation, and this time the victim was the notable veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
In the early morning of Wednesday, May 11, Shireen was directly shot dead by an Israeli sniper; the bullet hit her neck instantly, causing severe bleeding. Shireen was part of a journalists team headed to Jenin to cover an early Israeli incursion into the camp. The Israeli occupation forces also shot the journalist Ali Smoudi, causing a moderate injury in the back.
Shireen Abu Aqleh, 51, worked as a correspondent for the Al-Jazeera media network in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem for 25 years.
For the Palestinians, Shireen was not just a reporter but a part of their memories.
As the Israeli occupation was committing its vicious crimes anywhere in the West Bank or occupied Jerusalem, she was there to expose the Israeli occupation’s crimes and reveal the Truth to the world.
Wearing a press jacket and helmet, the Jazeera media network stated that the Israeli occupation deliberately targeted Shireen Abu Aqleh, as Israeli snipers shot her directly while covering the Israeli incursion into the Jenin refugee camp. That was not the end of the crime as the Israeli snipers continued to shoot at the people trying to rescue Shireen and reach for her as she was bleeding on the ground.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was hasty to deny the killing of Abu Aqila, saying that it was most likely that the Palestinians had killed her, and attached a video of a gunman shooting in one of the camp’s alleys.
Once again, the Israeli narrative was proven wrong, as the video that Bennett used was filmed in a place far from where Abu Akila was killed. This prompted the Israeli Military to retract the previous statement.
The leader of the extremist priesthood movement, Itamar Ben Gvir, stated that the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh is justified and that journalists should be targeted for allegedly “impeding the work of the Israeli soldiers.”
It is worth noting that Ben Gvir is a deputy in the Israeli cabinet and is likely to occupy the position of a minister in the next Israeli government.
Ben Gvir’s statements represent the Israeli occupation policy dealing with the Palestinian press. As journalists work to reveal facts to the world and expose Israeli crimes, the Israeli occupation follows a systematic policy to target Palestinian journalists and media outlets.
Thirty-three press institutions were targeted and destroyed during the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip in May 2021. Many of these institutions were international media offices, but the Israeli occupation did not refrain from bombing them.
The Israeli occupation has not only targeted press offices, but they have a sordid history of targeting and killing Palestinian journalists. Palestinian journalist and photographer Yasser Murtaja was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper east of the town of Khuza’a in the southern Gaza Strip on Palestinian Land Day, April 6, 2018.
Meanwhile, Palestinian journalists commit themselves to continue covering daily news from the occupied territories regardless of the ongoing Israeli atrocities against them.