Remembering Shireen Abu Akleh, a year after her killing

abu akleh
Shireen Abu Akleh. (Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — A year has passed since Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot by an Israeli sniper while covering a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. اضافة اعلان

Abu Akleh’s murder was followed by global outrage, one that was fueled by the painful scenes of Israeli forces attacking pallbearers causing them to almost drop the coffin

A year on, international efforts have failed, with no one held accountable for the deliberate killing of Abu Akleh despite the fact that she was wearing a helmet and protective vests clearly marked “Press”.

Over the past year, several journalistic investigations as well as a UN probe have concluded that Israeli forces killed Abu Akleh. Some findings even suggested that the small group of journalists she was with was deliberately targeted.

Her memory continuesAbu Akleh was a Palestinian-American journalist from Jerusalem working with Al Jazeera. Born in April 03, 1971 in East Jerusalem, she obtained American citizenship after living in the US.

Abu Akleh got a degree in print journalism from Yarmouk University in Jordan. After graduation, she returned to Palestine and worked as a journalist for media outlets like Radio Monte Carlo and Voice of Palestine before she joined Al-Jazeera in 1997 and became one of the very first field journalists in the country.

Her reports and known sign offs grew popular among Palestinians, making her a household name among Arabs, especially during the Second Intifada, where she covered most events taking place in that era, most particularity the 2002 Jenin battle and the several Israeli wars on the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian news agency, Wafa. 

Since her killing, a raft of universities have announced awards and scholarships in Abu Akleh’s name, a street in Ramallah has been renamed after her, and her name will also live on in the form of a media museum scheduled to open in the city in 2025, ensuring her memory continues. 

Not the only oneAbu Akleh is far from the only Palestinian journalist killed in recent years whose death has gone unpunished, reported the Guardian. 

A new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists, released this week to coincide with the anniversary of Abu Akleh’s death, found that Israel has never charged or found any soldier accountable for the killings of at least 20 journalists, 18 of whom were Palestinian, since 2001.

“Israeli officials discount evidence and witness claims, often appearing to clear soldiers for the killings while inquiries are still in progress … When probes do take place, the Israeli military often takes months or years to investigate killings and families of the mostly Palestinian journalists have little recourse inside Israel to pursue justice,” the report said.

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