May 11, 2022
The media outlet Al Jazeeraaccused Israeli forces of "deliberately targeting and killing our colleague" on Wednesday after Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the face while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
In a statement, the Al Jazeera Media Network said that Abu Akleh--who worked as the publication's Palestine correspondent--was wearing a press jacket that clearly identified her as a journalist when Israeli forces shot her "with live fire."
Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, called the attack "a blatant murder," saying Abu Akleh, 51, was "assassinated in cold blood." Abu Akleh was an American citizen.
The statement continued:
Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of Shireen. It also calls on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their intentional targeting and killing of Shireen.
The Israeli authorities are also responsible for the targeting of Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi, who was also shot in the back while covering the same event, and he is currently undergoing treatment.
Al Jazeera extends its sincere condolences to the family of Shireen in Palestine, and to her extended family around the world, and we pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice.
Footage from the scene shows the moments after Abu Akleh was shot.
(Warning: The video is disturbing)
\u201cFootage shows the moments of Al Jazeera\u2019s senior reporter Shireen Abu Aqla\u2019s death. \n\nIn appearance, Israeli footage that says there was a Palestinian cross fire doesn\u2019t fit with this location. \n\nShe is also wearing a helmet and body armour.\u201d— Rag\u0131p Soylu (@Rag\u0131p Soylu) 1652255966
The Israeli government swiftly denied responsibility for killing Abu Akleh and wounding al-Samudi, claiming that they may have been shot by "Palestinian gunmen."
"There is a considerable chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, were the ones who brought about the journalist's unfortunate death," said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
But al-Samudi, speaking to the Associated Press following the incident, dismissed the Israeli government's narrative as a "complete lie."
"He said they were all wearing protective gear that clearly marked them as reporters, and they passed by Israeli troops so the soldiers would know that they were there," AP reported. "He said a first shot missed them, then a second struck him, and a third killed Abu Akleh. He said there were no militants or other civilians in the area--only the reporters and the army."
An outpouring of grief and tributes followed news of Abu Akleh's killing.
Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian-American political analyst, wrote on Twitter that "Shireen was one of the bravest, longest-standing Palestinian journos and an inspiration to so many Palestinians, especially young women in the field of journalism."
In an interview, Abu Akleh's friend and colleague Dalia Hatuqa said that Shireen "was there in every town, every Palestinian town, village, alleyway, refugee camp."
"Everybody knew her name," Hatuqa continued. "Everybody welcomed her. She wanted to do the stories that nobody else wanted to do. And she gave a voice to a lot of people who we otherwise wouldn't have heard from."
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.