The assassination of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli occupation forces is a heinous crime and a violation of international humanitarian law that blatantly infringes on the freedom of media, expression, and the right of people to obtain information.
Many regional and international organisations condemned the assassination of Abu Akleh while Arab and Western government deplored the targeting of journalists, calling for bringing to justice the perpetrators of martyr Abu Akleh’s assassination and urging the international community to shoulder its responsibility towards the Israeli occupation authorities’ practices and its ongoing impunity from punishment for their crimes against media persons and journalists.
Shireen Abu Akleh was not the only journalist who suffered from the Israeli occupation forces as her assassination was preceded by the killing of dozens in crimes committed by the occupation authorities to prevent them from covering other crimes so that they could continue to indulge violations under the cover of darkness.
Statistics from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate indicate that, since 2000, 55 Palestinian journalists have been killed by the Israeli occupation forces, while covering crimes and violations in the Palestinian territories, and since 2013, at least 7,000 crimes and assaults against Palestinian journalists, by Israeli occupation forces, have been monitored.
Nasser Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, stressed that the occupation’s deliberate and clear targeting of Shireen Abu Akleh should not discourage journalists in Palestine from continuing their professional work and carrying out their tasks in keeping with the national spirit.
He stressed that this crime will not deter journalists from tracking and tracing the criminals of the Israeli occupation so that they do not escape punishment, especially since the journalists who were targeted in Jenin camp Wednesday morning, were wearing protective shields and helmets, which represent protection methods in the first place, and a method of disclosure on the nature of field work during confrontations and wars.
On the 27th of last month, an official complaint was filed with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on behalf of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists regarding crimes committed against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli occupation forces, and it includes files that took about two years to prepare.
During the year 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities committed 368 violations against media professionals and press institutions in Palestine, most notably the martyrdom of journalist Youssef Mohamed Abu Hussein, according to a report by the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms — MADA.
The attacks committed during the year 2021 included a total of 356 male and female journalists, and 32 media institutions, most of them in the Gaza Strip.
The assassination of Abu Akleh is not the first for the Israeli entity, and it will not be the last.
The Israeli violations of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regard to freedom of the press, have continued and have not stopped since 1948 to this day, whether inside or outside Palestine, but the interior Palestine has seen the largest number of assassinations.
Israeli targeting of the press and media is an attempt by the occupation forces to hide the truth, so that the Israeli entity has become the undisputed “enemy of the truth” through its actions for more than 70 years, and its attempts to prevent the real picture from reaching the world about the inhuman practices that the occupied Palestinian territories are witnessing.
In the midst of the racist Israeli aggression, Palestinian journalists practice their profession in difficult circumstances, combining the lead in disseminating information to expose the crimes of the occupation, and the concern for physical safety from terrorist attacks that put media persons among its first goals.
An undated handout photo released by the Doha-based Al-Jazeera TV shows the channel’s veteran journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh during one of her reports from Jerusalem. (AFP)