Shireen Abu Akleh
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Who is Shireen Abu Akleh?

She was born on January 3, 1971, in Jerusalem, she is a Christian Palestinian, She was a Palestinian-American journalist who worked as a correspondent for the channel Al Jazeera for 25 years and was a familiar name across the Middle East for decades of working in the Palestinian-occupied territories.

She was one of the Arab journalists She was described as a veteran journalist after her death as having been among Arab media’s most prominent figures. Her career included reporting on major Palestinian incidents especially the Second Intifada and her live reporting on television.

Early life and Education.

Abu Aqleh finished her high school studies at the Rosary Sisters School in Beit Hanina, and she received his initially a bachelor’s degree in architecture at the University of Science and Technology in Jordan then she received a bachelor’s degree in written journalism major from Yarmouk University in Jordan.

Career.

After graduating, she returned to Palestine, she lived and worked in East Jerusalem, reporting on major events related to Palestine including the Second Intifada, and worked on several sites such as UNRWA, Voice of Palestine Radio, Amman Satellite Channel, then the Miftah Foundation, and Monte Carlo Radio. She moved to work in 1997 with the Al Jazeera Network till she was shot by the Israeli forces on 11 May 2022.

Since the establishment of Al-Jazeera in 1997, she has started working as a correspondent for the “Al-Jazeera channel” in the occupied Palestinian territories, becoming well known as a reporter, in addition to working as a correspondent for “Monte Carlo” Radio in France.

Abu Akleh continued working on Al Jazeera until she was killed in 2022, she had been studying Hebrew to understand Israeli media narratives and had recently gained a diploma in digital media.

Abu Akleh’s career inspired many Palestinians and Arabs to be journalists; her reporting was particularly well-known. After her death, The New York Times and NPR both described her as “a familiar name” among Palestinians. The Times of Israel described her as “a veteran journalist among Palestinian and Arab media’s most prominent figures”.

Her Death.

On May 11, 2022, the Palestinian Ministry of Health declared the death of the Correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh. According to Al-Jazeera, she had been shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces with bullets in her head due to her covering the Israeli occupation storming Jenin refugee camp. Al Jazeera accused Israel of deliberately targeting her, Abu Akleh was present at the storming in Jenin, and Al Jazeera announced that Abu Akleh was shot in her head by Israeli snipers and she was transferred to Ibn Sina Hospital, where she was announced dead. She was 51 years. Another correspondent, the Ministry of Health added that journalist Ali Al-Samoudi was also hit by a live bullet in his back, and he is in a stable condition, and two other Palestinians were transferred to a hospital in moderate condition.

Also Read: Israeli forces Fires gas canisters on Palestinians in Jenin

According to the Israeli forces, Palestinians had fired on Israeli soldiers, after which the soldiers returned fire. The IDF published a video showing Palestinian gunmen firing on Israeli forces, in the place where Abu Akleh was killed, eyewitnesses two journalists standing near Abu Akleh, said that the place had been quiet immediately before her death, Contrary to Israeli statements about her death in an exchange of fire. According to Al Jazeera, there was no shooting by Palestinian gunmen.

Mustafa Barghouti General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative said that there was “no exchange of fire” at the place. Al-Omari the bureau chief of Al Jazeera in Jerusalem and Ramallah also stated that Abu Akleh had been wearing a helmet and was shot under her ear, which refer she was “deliberately targeted”. Video of the shooting showed Abu Akleh wearing a vest that was marked “PRESS”, An Agency France-Presse photojournalist said that Israeli forces shot and killed Abu Akleh.

Also Read: Journalism: not a safe profession

An autopsy at An-Najah National University wasn’t able to determine who killed Abu Akleh; the pathologist didn’t find any evidence that she was shot at close range. The autopsy affirmed that Abu Akleh was killed by a bullet that struck her head, causing skull fractures and damage to her brain. The bullet was recovered and sent for extra examination. Israeli minister of Defense Benny Gantz said the Israeli forces sent a request to the Palestinians to let the Israelis examine the bullet.

Responses.

Al Jazeera described the murder of Abu Akleh as a “terrifying crime that breaches international human rights and was carried out” in cold blood”. Al Jazeera managing director Giles Trendle said that the network was shocked by her death and he had called for a transparent investigation.

President Abbas declared that he considered Israeli forces responsible” for the death of  Abu Akleh. Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the General Authority of Civil Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, tweeted on Twitter that Abu Akleh had been “killed by the bullets of the Israeli occupation”, adding that the “crime of silencing the journalists” had been committed again, and the truth is murdered by Israeli occupation bullets, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the United Kingdom Husam Zomlot described Abu Akleh as a “beloved journalist” and his close friend.

The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” condemned the assassination of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh by the Israeli occupation forces after targeting her with live bullets in his head, this morning, while she was covering the Israeli forces’ raids of Jenin camp, and the injury of journalist Ali Al-Samoudi in his back.

In a statement, Hamas considered this assassination and with malice aforethought against Sherine Abu Aqleh, and all Palestinian journalists and media professionals who report the Israeli crimes against Palestinian people under occupation.”

Hamas stressed that this crime will not succeed in neglecting the role of the media and journalists in conveying the truth of Israeli crimes, the reality of the Israeli occupation, its brutality, terrorism, and crimes against Palestinian, land, and holy sites.

Also Read: Israel has killed 55 Palestinian journalists since 2000

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, prime minister of Qatar, denounced what he saw as horrific crimes by the Israeli occupation against unarmed Palestinian people, deputy foreign minister Lolwah Al-Khater claimed the killing was “state-sponsored Israeli terrorism”. The foreign ministry of Kuwait had issued a statement denouncing the killing of Abu Akleh by Israeli forces; similar statements were issued by the foreign ministries of Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Djibouti, China, and Iran.