ACTION ALERT: Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh
(May 11, 2022) — On Wednesday, May 11, 2022, Israeli soldiers shot and killed 51-year-old Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides and State Department spokesperson Ned Price called for a thorough and immediate investigation and for those responsible to be held accountable. But, the US, including the Biden administration, doesn’t have a record of holding Israel accountable.
US military aid to Israel should be immediately suspended and Israel must not be allowed to investigate itself. Add your name.
Dear Ambassador Tom Nides and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken,
We the undersigned are horrified, saddened, and outraged at the killing of Palestinian-American veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli military. We call for a thorough investigation — not by Israel — and the immediate suspension of US military aid to Israel.
Shireen Abu Akleh was covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp when she was shot in the face and killed. She was wearing a blue protective vest and helmet, both clearly marking her as press.
In a video showing the immediate aftermath of Shireen being shot, a man can be heard yelling, “injured! Shireen, Shireen, oh man, Shireen! Ambulance!” Al Jazeera journalist Shatha Hanaysha, also wearing a helmet and vest marked as press, can be seen crouching down trying to reach Shireen but being forced back by Israeli gunfire. The soldiers “did not stop firing even after she collapsed,” Hanaysha said. “I couldn’t even extend my arm to pull her because of the shots. The army was adamant on shooting to kill.”
Following Shireen’s death at their hands, the Israeli military said on Twitter that they were investigating the possibility that Shireen had been killed “by Palestinian armed gunfire.” However, documentation by Israel’s largest human rights organization B’tselem, shows that this was not the case. Israeli military spokesperson Kochav Ran on Army radio accused Shireen and her colleagues of being “ armed with cameras” and Israel’s Foreign Ministry offered to conduct a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority into Shireen’s “sad death.”
We know all too well from previous times the Israeli military has “investigated themselves” that such actions are a farce. We call for the immediate suspension of US military aid to Israel and a thorough and impartial investigation of Shireen’s murder.
Please see that justice is obtained for Shireen Abu Akleh.
Israel Murders Palestinian-American Journalist
Kyle Anzalone / The Libertarian Institute
(May 11, 2022) — Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed by Israeli forces outside of Jenin. A second reporter Ali Samoodi was shot and wounded.
Samoodi, who was near Abu Akleh when she was murdered, reported they came under fire from Israeli occupation forces without warning. “They didn’t ask us to leave and they didn’t ask us to stop (filming). They fired at us. One bullet hit me and another hit Shireen. They killed her in cold blood,” he said.
In videos showing the moments after Abu Akleh was shot, both Abu Akleh and a second journalist are wearing internationally recognized bulletproof vests marked “PRESS.” The video also shows the gunmen continuing to fire on the journalists after Akleh was shot.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett disputed the narrative. In a tweet, he claimed Abu Akleh was killed by Palestinians and added a video of a battle as proof. “According to the data we have at the moment, there is a good chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, are the ones who led to the unfortunate death of the journalist,” the Israeli leader’s statement said.
However, the prime minister’s narrative was quickly disputed by the Israeli human rights monitoring group B’tselem. B’tselem concluded, “documentation of Palestinian gunfire distributed by Israeli military cannot be the gunfire that killed Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.”
The Israeli government is now backing off the claim Abu Akleh was killed by Palestinian gunfire. “At the moment it is not possible to determine from which fire Abu Akleh was killed,” said IDF chief of staff General Aviv Kokhavi.
Abu Akleh was a Palestinian-American journalist who has covered the occupation for Al-Jazeera since 1997. She was a household name in Palestine, described as a trailblazer and role model. Al-Jazeera is describing her murder as an “assassination in cold blood.”
After she was killed, Palestinians gathered at her home to mourn in Jerusalem. Mairav Zonszein reports that Israeli police arrived at her residence and demanded a Palestinian flag be removed.
Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, assistant editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter.
Israeli Forces Storm Home of Slain Palestinian
Journalist Hours after ‘Cold-blooded’ Shooting
(May 11, 2022) — Israeli forces stormed Shireen Abu Akleh’s home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina where mourners had gathered on Wednesday.
Israeli police stormed the home of Shireen Abu Akleh on Wednesday, hours after the Palestinian journalist was shot dead while reporting in the occupied West Bank.
Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera, was shot in the head by Israeli forces while covering an army raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin on Wednesday morning.
Hours later and Israeli police stormed her home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina as family and friends gathered to mourn her death, the Palestinian Authority’s WAFA news agency reported.
The policemen were confronted by mourners, who pushed them out, WAFA said.
Local journalist Rafi Ghattas was at the house when the police, including a local commander, arrived.
“They asked for the Palestinian flag to be taken down, they told us that there shouldn’t be any gathering, there shouldn’t be any national songs or anthems playing,” Ghattas told The New Arab.
There has been a heavy police and security force presence in the neighbourhood for much of Wednesday, Ghattas said.
“There aren’t any protests happening, there aren’t any riots… We are here as the family, as journalists, as neighbours, to mourn.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Abu Akleh’s body, draped in a Palestinian flag and a press flak jacket, was carried through Jenin in a funeral procession.
Her brutal killing has sparked sadness and outrage worldwide.
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