Shireen Abu Akleh, the well-known Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist, who was a voice for Palestinians in Palestine and beyond, was fatally shot dead in the face by Israeli forces — a piece of news that we’re all very much still in denial about.
Shireen Abu Akleh was a Christian U.S. citizen conveying the news to Arabic-speaking listeners all across the world. She, along with other journalists in attendance, was distinctly wearing a press vest and helmet at a time when there were no Palestinian fighters present when she was assassinated by Israeli forces.
The circumstances of Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing are not unprecedented: she is the 55th journalist to be killed by Israeli forces while doing her job.
We strongly condemn this kind of merciless, unjustified killing fueled by hate, which intends to prevent journalists from spreading awareness of current events and document the other side of the story. Targeting journalists is a war crime and Palestinian women reporting on the occupation must be protected.
The assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh and other journalists brings to light the vulnerability and high-risk that journalists experience under the Israeli military. The threat is significant for female Palestinian journalists living in the occupation, as their efforts to report the situation even for global networks like Al Jazeera results in retaliation in the form of war crimes. These journalists must be safeguarded, as it is their fundamental right to feel safe while doing their job and posing no threat to anyone whatsoever.
As a human being and a U.S. citizen, Shireen deserves a thorough and independent investigation into her brutal killing and we call upon the American government and international community to demand justice.
In honor of Shireen Abu Akleh’s legacy, we are raising funds for her memorial scholarship fund to empower Palestinian women in journalism in the U.S. and Palestine.
All funds will be received and administered by Baitulmaal, a US-registered 501c3 charity with a trusted track record in domestic and international projects: contribute here.
We must use our voices for Shireen and the protection of journalists everywhere from government targeting.