Perilous Journey of a Journalist: The murder of Shireen Abu Akleh

By Jamal Kanj*

May 25, 2022

The killing of Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11, is one more chapter of the 74-year-old Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe).

Much had been argued about the creation of Israel and the ensuing ethnic cleansing of historical Palestine. Sadly, most had become a desensitized academic debate, lifeless abstract portrayal failing to depict what it really meant to be a refugee without a country.

On May 15, 1948, Zionists danced and firecrackers burst over New York neighborhoods celebrating the founding of Israel. At the same time, and on the other side of the world, Zionist terrorist military organizations waged a war to depopulate Palestine from its native population. The end result, in access of 780,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from more than 500 destroyed towns and villages.

For the new state, Palestinian refugees, like my own parents, were dispensable nuisances. In a 1948 foreign ministry study, Israel predicted the refugees “… will waste away. Some will die but most will turn into human debris and social outcasts ..” in other countries.

To Israel’s chagrin, refugees rose from the ashes of burned villages refusing to be cast into the oblivion of injustice. Shireen Abu Akleh grew up under occupation, armed herself with a microphone and a camera making sure her parents’ story is remembered and Palestinians do not become “human debris.”

The murder of Abu Akleh is inseparable from Israel’s continuum crimes against Palestinian intellectuals. To name but few, the assassinations in Beirut of magazine editor Ghassan Kanafani in 1972, and Poet Kamal Nasser in 1973. The murders, like the razed villages in 1948, were part of determined Israeli efforts to thwart the Palestinian narratives and hide crimes against humanity.

Unlike Abu Akleh, when journalists were killed in Ukraine, the West rejected Russian inculpability, did not demand joint investigation, and requested the International Court to investigate Russia’s war crimes.

In this case, Israel (like Russia) denied responsibility, and charged its Hasbara PR machine with a deflection strategy to cast doubt on the murder and escape liability. Unlike Russia, however, Western media became a welling extension of the Israeli PR machine.

American media outlets ascribed nuance terminology to explain Abu Akleh’s death, or promoted, unquestionably, the false Israeli PR narratives. For example, the initial New York Times headline said, “Shireen Abu Akleh, Trailblazing Palestinian Journalist, Dies at 51.”

In their initial coverage, Western media outlets ignored testimonies of firsthand eyewitnesses and those of journalist’s colleagues.. One who was injured, and a second hid behind a tree two feet away from the journalist’s body unable to help her friend. She watched tortuously as an Israeli soldier continued to shoot in their direction despite their blue media vests. Instead, Western media sought corroborations of Israeli PR professionals who were tens of miles from the crime site.

CNN waited almost two weeks before airing eyewitness accounts, and the Associated Press (AP) 12 days to eventually, in an overly cautious report, challenge the Israeli PR machine.

On the official level, the Biden Administration called for a joined Israeli and Palestinian investigation into the “death” of the journalist. Palestinians rejected the call for a joint investigation asserting that murderers can’t be trusted in investigating their murder.

Israel’s previous sham investigations have almost always absolved its army’s crimes, or issued a slab on the hand, if any. In addition, Israel has in the past protracted its investigations as part of a dual strategy: squish calls for independent inquiry on the short term, and to deflate international outcries with the passing of time, on the long term.

To reference some examples, the 2003 murder of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was run over by an Israeli military bulldozer, and the murder in the same year of British cameraman James Miller. Or the 2000 murder of the 12-year-old Muhammad al-Durrah on live TV.

The army probes following up to these well publicized crimes, like all lesser-known murders, exonerated Israeli soldiers and blamed the victims for their own death.

Alas, When compared to life lost in Ukraine, American life, and all lives for that matter, seem to have less value when the alleged murderer is an Israeli soldier, who most likely used an American weapon.

As in the case of previously murdered journalists, activists, children, and the razing of the media tower in Gaza, Israel executed Shireen Abu Akleh to silence the Palestinian story. For the microphone in Abu Akleh’s hand had become more perilous than a gun, and the camera more powerful than a bullet.

 *Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes for various national and international commentaries

(Source / 26.05.2022)

Army Injures Many Palestinian Workers Near Jenin

On Thursday, Israeli soldiers chased and injured many Palestinian workers near the military roadblocks and the gates of the illegal Annexation Wall in several parts of Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Media sources said the soldiers invaded the villages and towns of Fuqua, Aneen, Taybeh, and Tura, especially in areas near the illegal Annexation Wall and its gates.

They added that the soldiers chased many workers and fired live rounds and gas bombs, causing many to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

A week earlier, the soldiers fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades at dozens of workers near the gates of the illegal Annexation Wall near Taybeh and Aneen villages, wounding scores of Palestinians.

The soldiers also shot two Palestinian workers after chasing them near the Annexation Wall in Rommana and Zibda villages, south and west of Jenin.

(Source / 26.05.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Five Palestinians In Jerusalem

On Thursday, Israeli soldiers abducted five young Palestinian men from their homes in the Old City of the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

The soldiers invaded and searched many homes in the Old City and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center In Silwan (Silwanic) said the soldiers abducted five young men, Rawhi Kalghasi, Mohammad Daqqaq, Samer Abu Aisha, Mahmoud Shaweesh, and Mohammad Najib.

Many soldiers were deployed in the alleys of the Old City and on the gates leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Thursday dawn, the soldiers abducted at least twenty-two Palestinians, including fathers and their children, from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 26.05.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Fire At Farmers In Southern Gaza

On Thursday, Israeli soldiers fired many live rounds, high-velocity gas bombs, and concussion grenades at Palestinian farmers on their lands east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the perimeter fence, fired many live rounds, gas bombs, and concussion grenades at the farmers and their land east of Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis.

They said the attacks did not lead to casualties but forced the farmers to leave their lands, fearing further Israeli violations.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also fired round rounds into Palestinian lands east of Gaza’s Central District.

The attacks are part of constant Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially the fishermenfarmersshepherds, and workers in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, and resulted in dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to severe property damage and the confiscation of many boats after abducting the fishermen.

In March of last year, 2021, the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza said Israeli mines were responsible for an explosion that led to the death of three fishermen.

(Source / 26.05.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Twenty-Two Palestinians In West Bank

Israeli soldiers abducted, Thursday dawn, at least twenty-two Palestinians, including fathers and their children, from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

The soldiers invaded many communities across the occupied West Bank, stormed, and violently searched dozens of homes, causing damage.

In Qalqilia, in the northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Bassem Sa’sa’, 60, Mohammad Khader, 49, Mohammad Khadraj, 35, Arbakan Mohammad Tbeisa, 26, Bara’ Eyad Hammad, 25, and Anas Malek Daoud, 24, from their homes in Qalqilia city, in the northern West Bank.

The army also invaded Azzoun town, east of Qalqilia, leading to protests before a few young men hurled pipe bombs at the military vehicles while the soldiers fired many live rounds.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Huwwara town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, searched a few homes, and abducted Mohammad Lafi.

Many Palestinians protested the Huwwara invasion, before the soldiers fired live rounds, wounding a young man in the leg.

In Ramallah, in the central West Bank, the soldiers abducted Raed Shawamra, from his home in the Ein Monjid area, and former political prisoner, Yousef Raed Hamed, 20, from his home in Silwad town, east of the city. The soldiers also invaded many neighborhoods in the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers abducted Bassel Abdul-Mon’em Jaradat, his son Bassel, 15, Jihad Omar Jaradat and his son Omar, 14, Bashar Edrees Jaradat, Sa’ad Nimir Froukh, Shehada Mtoor, and his son Morad, from their homes in Sa’ir town, northeast of the city.

Furthermore, the soldiers abducted Bashir al-Akel and Anas Ali Jabour, from Yatta town, south of Hebron, in addition to Bara’ Mazen Ballout, Assem Asli Ballout, and his brother Mohammad, from Bani Neim town, east of Hebron.

In addition, several army jeeps invaded Anata town northeast of occupied Jerusalem before the soldiers stormed and ransacked several homes.

On Wednesday evening, the soldiers abducted six Palestinians from Hebron, Jenin, and Jerusalem. One of the abducted Palestinians in Hebron was taken prisoner after illegal colonizers assaulted him and several other shepherds.

On Wednesday afternoon, the army shot a young man and caused dozens of Palestinians, including a family of nine, to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation in Huwwara town, south of Nablus.

The soldiers also invaded Jayyous town, east of Qalqilia, leading to protests before shooting a Palestinian child.

(Source / 26.05.2022)


Soldiers Injure Dozens of Palestinians, Including a Family Of Nine, In Nablus

On Wednesday afternoon, Israeli soldiers shot a young man and caused dozens of Palestinians, including a family of nine, to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation in Huwwara town, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West bank.

Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Emergency Department at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Nablus, said the soldiers invaded Huwwara, leading to protests, and attacked the Palestinians with a barrage of live rounds and gas bombs.

Jibril said one Palestinian suffered an injury to his elbow due to fragments of live rounds fired by the soldiers.

He added that the army fired many gas bombs at random, some hitting homes, causing a family of nine, including children, to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

It is worth mentioning that the protests occurred in Huwwara after many illegal Israeli colonizers invaded it and conducted a provocative march, carrying Israeli flags and chanting against the Palestinians before the soldiers invaded the town and attacked the residents.

In related news, the soldiers installed a roadblock at the main entrance of Doura town, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and detained a young man after stopping his car at a sudden military roadblock.

The soldiers are constantly deployed in the area, especially in the military town at the entrance of Doura and al-Fawwar refugee camp, and frequently install roadblocks before stopping and searching dozens of cars, before interrogating and detaining many Palestinians.

(Source / 26.05.2022)

Israeli Army Shoots A Palestinian Child In Qalqilia

Israeli soldiers shot, Wednesday evening, a Palestinian child in Jayyous town, east of Qalqilia, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Several army jeeps invaded the town, leading to protests before the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, and gas bombs.

Medical sources said the soldiers shot a child, sixteen years of age, with a live round in the leg before he was rushed to a hospital suffering moderate-but-stable wounds.

The soldiers also closed several roads in the town, prevented the Palestinians from crossing, and installed several roadblocks in some areas in the Qalqilia governorate.

(Source / 26.05.2022)

Soldiers Abduct Six Palestinians In Hebron, Jenin, And Jerusalem

On Wednesday evening, Israeli soldiers abducted six Palestinians from Hebron, Jenin, and Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. One of the abducted Palestinians in Hebron was taken prisoner after illegal colonizers assaulted him and several other shepherds.

Montaser Sammour, the head of the Jenin office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) in the northern West Bank, said the soldiers abducted former political prisoner Anwar Hamed Abu Bakr, in addition to Arafat Fayez Amarna and Arab Khaled Kabaha, while crossing the Dotan military roadblock near Ya’bad town, south of Jenin.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, illegal Israeli colonizers assaulted several Palestinian shepherds in the Masafer Yatta area, south of the city, before Israeli soldiers abducted a shepherd, Mahmoud Yousef Ed’eis, instead of removing the assailants.

Eyewitnesses said the colonizers attacked the Palestinian shepherds and their sheep before forcing them out of grazing lands in the Ein al-Baida area, east of Yatta.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted two young men, Amir al-Hadra, and Emad Zaatari, from the at-Tour town, east of the city, and summoned six others for interrogation.

(Source / 26.05.2022)