How Shireen Abu Akleh Became a Victim of the Conflict She Covered

She continued to cover the most important stories of the Arab world for the most widely watched channel in the Middle East.

On Wednesday morning, Shireen Abu Akleh fell victim to the same Israeli-Palestinian conflict that Israeli forces had documented for Al Jazeera during the raid on the town of Jenin on the west bank of the Jordan River.

The death of the 51-year-old Jerusalem-born Palestinian-American has already sent shockwaves through Israel, the Middle East and the rest of the world, and will draw more attention to the instability and persisting conflict in the coming years to come. see.

For the past 25 years, Abu Akleh has been a regular presence in homes, cafes and offices across the Arab world, and more broadly through Al Jazeera’s English channel The World.

“She was certainly the voice of Palestine in all Arab families,” an international reporter said in an interview.

Her death, shot in the head, complicates the already ongoing political crisis in Israel and has prompted calls for an answer from Britain and the United States.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nices tweeted: “Today we call for a thorough investigation into her death and the injuries of one other journalist in Jenin.”

After news of the killings broke out, Israel’s United Arab List delayed the announcement of whether it would remain part of the Israeli coalition or lose a majority. Al Jazeera and a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Qatar, where the broadcaster is headquartered, claim that Abu Akle may have been shot by Palestinian militants, but Palestinian leaders all claim Israel was responsible for the killings. there is.

A veteran journalist and her team, known for her great demeanor and professionalism, were preparing to cover the real-time Israeli raid on Genin. One of her colleagues, Ali al-Samudi, was suddenly shot in the shoulder. Palestinian journalist.

“There were no clashes at the time,” said Mohammed Daragme.

United Arab Emirates news agency Palestinian bureau chief in Ashark. “Ali fell and he was shot in the back again. At this time, Shireen said, ‘Ali got shot! Ali got shot!’”

A more intense gunfight ensued. A video posted on social media showed reporters calling for help when they heard automatic weapon firing in the distance. “Another reporter next to her said there were a lot of gunfire at the scene and Shireen was knocked down,” Daraghmeh said. “He tried to reach her hand out to her, but she wouldn’t move.”

The video showed the lifeless body of Abu Akleh lying on the ground. Reporters covering the raid started calling for an ambulance. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the head. Mr. Samudi is in a stable condition.

Israeli forces said they met with large numbers of gunfire and explosives during the air strike and responded with fire. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that “the armed Palestinians who shot indiscriminately at the time appear to be responsible for the unfortunate death of the journalist.”

But Palestinian officials and Al Jazeera have accused Israel of shooting reporters in blue helmets and body armor, indicating that they are journalists.

“It is clear that they were shot by the Israeli forces,” said Daraghme. “There was no threat to the soldiers. They had no firepower and were far from the soldiers.”

Al Jazeera called the killing “a blatant murder, a violation of international law and norms” and accused the Israeli military of “calling” “assassination” of Abu Akle. He urged the international community to hold Israel accountable for her death.

“Al Jazeera claims that the Israeli government and occupation forces were responsible for the killing of Shirin,” the statement said.

Israel’s foreign ministry released a video announcing that Palestinian militants had killed an Israeli soldier in Jenin, but said no Israeli soldiers had been met in Zenin on Wednesday. Israel has requested a joint investigation into her death, and has welcomed a joint autopsy to confirm her bullets that killed her.

Palestinian journalists mourn near the body of Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Acle.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “there are indications that Abu Akle was killed in the shootings of Palestinian terrorists.” “Israel will conduct a thorough investigation. We urge the Palestinian authorities to cooperate with the investigation to uncover the truth.”

Abu Akleh’s close friend and colleague, Mr Daraghmeh, described her enthusiastic dedication to her work. Abu Akleh, a Palestinian Christian, never married her and left her no children. After she obtained her journalism degree in Jordan, she returned to Jerusalem to start her job.

“I called her a nun who dedicated her life to journalism and high values,” he said.

Her years of coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the most widely watched pan-Arab satellite channel and its English-language affiliates have made her a brand name throughout the region.

Once during a trip to Sudan, Daraghme showed me a photo she had taken with Abu Akleh, and young journalists and journalism teachers said that when she arrived in Khartoum, she would flock to the streets like a celebrity.

“Everyone in the Arab world who has watched the Palestinian conflict will see her report,” he said.

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