The news of the cold-blooded murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh jolted Palestine on Wednesday morning.
Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and murdered while reporting on an Israeli defence force raid on the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning, according to witnesses. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, she was brought to a hospital in Jenin in severe condition and was declared dead shortly after at 7:15 a.m.
Shireen was wearing a press vest and was standing with other journalists when she was shot and killed; another journalist, Ali al-samoudi, was also hit and wounded by a bullet in the back at the scene; he is now in a stable condition.
Many mourners gathered in Jerusalem on Friday for Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral. This was the largest public outpouring since Palestine liberation leader Yasser Arafat died in 2004. When Shireen’s coffin was brought out of a Jerusalem hospital gate, Israel police attacked mourners with batons and grenades, nearly causing the pallbearers to drop Shireen’s coffin.
According to investigations, Israel troops are to blame, and this isn’t the first time the country’s military has attacked the media in Israel. Since 2001, Israel police have killed around 50 Palestinian journalists, following a pattern of indiscriminate killings and targeting of journalists and human rights activists.
Ali Samoudi , her producer, was also shot and was taken to hospital on Wednesday. A fragment of the bullet was removed from her head during the autopsy. Palestinian forensic institute said he was not yet able to identify who fired it as both sides were firing M16 rifles on Wednesday which makes it difficult to determine who fired it without testing individual rifles.
Shireen has been reporting for over three decades in the West Bank and East Jerusalem where she would tell stories about Palestinians , Israelis , battleground and the drawing rooms of leaders. She also covered the second intifada , the death of Yasser Arafat and Numerous of West Bank raids.
“Shireen is the face/voice of events in the Palestinian area – almost everyone who follows news from there knows her,” Tamara Alrifai, a UN Relief and Works Agency senior spokesman, said
“It’s impossible to follow West Bank news without hearing or seeing reports from Shireen.”
She was certainly a fixture of the Palestinian story, and the fact that she survived so many tumultuous events only adds to the shock of her death today.”