Palestinian journalists protest Israel’s killing of Shireen Abu Akleh
Palestinian journalists expressed their anger on Wednesday over the killing of their colleague Shireen Abu Akleh, a prominent Palestinian correspondent for Al-Jazeera, by the Israeli occupation forces.
Dozens of Palestinian journalists and others participated in solidarity protests organised in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, calling on the International Criminal Court to prosecute the Israel army over its ongoing attacks on journalists.
Speaking to The New Arab, journalists argued that "Israel flouts all international laws in favour of implementing its plans to hide the truth in the Palestinian territories by targeting journalists."
"We were not surprised that the occupation killed our colleague in the field, especially since she was able to uncover the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people," said Hiba Akilah, Al-Jazeera correspondent in Gaza City.
"Israel will not silence Palestinian voices and it will not be able to hide the truth from the world. We will continue our colleague's journey in exposing all Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in all Palestinian cities and villages, including the Gaza Strip," Akilah said.
Akilah called on the international community to force the Israeli army not to "harm journalists and deliberately target them".
"History will not forgive all those who are accomplices with Israel," he added.
"All the Palestinians, including journalists, are under the Israeli attacks," Samir Abu Shammalah, a Ramallah-based correspondent for Al-Jazeera, told The New Arab.
"They [Israel] want to silence our voices and not tell the world the truth about their ongoing crimes against our people, who are struggling to obtain their normal rights to live in peace over their lands," he added.
Earlier in the day, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced the killing of Abu Akleh, by an Israeli army bullet during a raid on Jenin in the West Bank.
In a statement, the ministry said that journalist Abu Akleh was hit by live bullets in the head and arrived at the hospital in a very critical condition.
For 25 years, Abu Akleh had worked as a reporter for the Qatari state-owned "Al-Jazeera" news channel. She is considered one of the most prominent Palestinian field journalists and covered the majority of events in the Palestinian territories.
Palestinians shared on Facebook videos of journalist Abu Akleh, including the moment she was shot, while she was wearing a jacket that is clearly marked with "PRESS".
Shatha Hamaysheh, a journalist who was with Abu Akleh in the place when she was targeted, told The New Arab that "we were in an open area and there were no exchanges of fire between the army and the Palestinian youths."
"Suddenly and deliberately," Hamaysheh noted, "the Israeli army shot our colleague Ali al-Samudi. In a bid to help him, Abu Akleh got out of her car to call for an ambulance. At this moment, the army fired a barrage of fire at Shireen, one of which hit her in the head."
"Shireen remained on the ground for a few minutes. No one was able to reach her to take her, amid heavy gunfire from the Israeli army," she said, stressing that she "will never forget this crime against her colleague."
Abu Akleh was the 55th journalist to have been killed by the Israeli army's bullets since 2000, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.
"The assassination of fellow journalist Abu Akleh is a heinous and heinous crime committed by the Israeli occupation forces, and it is a massacre against all Palestinian journalists," Nasser Abu Bakr, the head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, said to The New Arab.
Moreover, Palestinians expressed their anger against the Israeli army, with many saying that it often targets Palestinians in general, whether they are a civilian, a journalist, a woman, a child, or even the elderly.
"Israel has always called Palestinians anti-Semitic, but the truth is that the Israeli army is completely anti-human," Mohammed Tayeh, a Gaza-based resident, said to The New Arab.
"Israel wants to terrorize the Palestinians and tell them that it is able to target everyone without exception. It is clear that what encourages Israel to do so is the Arab silence and inaction in supporting the Palestinian cause," he said.
Tayeh stressed that all of Israel's attempts "to obliterate the truth will fail, especially since the Palestinians are always documenting its crimes."
"All Palestinians have become soldiers of the truth to refute the Israeli narratives at the local and international levels," he added.