Rights Groups Call for Full Probe After Israeli Forces Kill Journalist

Rights advocates are demanding accountability and justice for Shireen Abu Akle, the well-known Al Jazeera correspondent killed Wednesday while covering an IDF raid. 

By Brett Wilkins
Common Dreams

Human rights advocates on Wednesday called for a thorough and transparent investigation after Al Jazeera and witnesses said Israeli forces shot and killed one of the network’s reporters while she was at work.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known 51-year-old Palestinian-American correspondent, was wearing a helmet and press jacket that clearly identified her as a journalist when Israeli forces shot her in the face as she covered an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the illegally occupied West Bank of Palestine.

While Israeli officials falsely claimed Palestinian militants shot Abu Akleh, Al Jazeera condemned her killing as “blatant murder.”

Shireen Abu Aqleh. (CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Citing the IDF’s deadly history of targeting journalists during wars, invasions, and other military operations in Palestine, the women-led peace group CodePink demanded an “immediate suspension of U.S. military aid to Israel and a thorough and impartial investigation of Shireen’s murder.”

The U.S. gives Israel, one of the world’s wealthiest nations per capita, around $3.8 billion in unconditional annual military aid, despite being classified an apartheid state by prominent international and Israeli officials and organizations.

Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement that “throughout this year, the Israeli apartheid government has been launching increasingly violent attacks on reporters, worshippers, paramedics, and protesters.”

“Israeli forces also have a long history of targeting journalists, even bombing the Gaza headquarters of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera last year,” he continued. “Our nation’s muted reaction has emboldened this violence. Enough is enough.”

“These war crimes must end, and President [Joe] Biden is the only world leader with the influence to end them,” Awad added. “President Biden should immediately call for a complete end to Israeli attacks on Palestinian territory and direct the FBI to launch an independent investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder.”

The White House on Wednesday afternoon “strongly” condemned Abu Akleh’s killing while calling “for a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of her death.”

Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement that Abu Akleh’s killing is

“a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which Israel locks Palestinians. Israel is killing Palestinians left and right with impunity. How many more need to be killed before the international community acts to hold Israel accountable for the continuing crimes against humanity?”

“States around the world have a moral and legal responsibility to take immediate action to put an end to the continuing crimes perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians to maintain the calamity of apartheid,” Hijazi added. “The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court should set the course for justice, truth, and reparation to end the impunity that encourages these ongoing crimes.”

The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) issued a statement hailing Abu Akleh as “an iconic voice that covered the occupation for over 20 years” whose “name resonates in every Palestinian home, globally.”

“We remember Shireen and the many other Palestinian journalists that put their lives on the line to combat the censorship Western media routinely propagates when covering the occupation,” the group continued. “We remember the millions of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid, suffering from forced evictions, ethnic cleansing, and lack of basic human rights.”

ADC urged the Biden administration to conduct a “full, independent, and international investigation into the assassination of Shireen.”

“Complete transparency and full accountability for this war crime against an American citizen is necessary,” the group added. “Additionally, as Americans we call on the U.S. government to stop all military aid to Israel, who uses our tax dollars to perpetrate these atrocities. Now is the time to put pressure on the Israeli government and stand up for Palestinian human rights.”

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

10 comments for “Rights Groups Call for Full Probe After Israeli Forces Kill Journalist

  1. Zeliha
    May 13, 2022 at 00:17

    Biden will investigate the assassination of Shireen after freeing Julian Assange. :(

    The only US representative I can think of who is not pro-I$rael and who might oppose the annual $3.8B is Ilhan Omar.

  2. Rex Williams
    May 12, 2022 at 18:36

    Human Rights Watch. An investigation?

    Please don’t stop there. Open up your books for the past 70 years. The US-endorsed crime of the century.

  3. John R
    May 12, 2022 at 17:45

    Let’s cut right to the chase – the IDF was tired of this journalist (who was wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet) and decided to kill her – and that’s just what they did. They killed her just like they kill the sitting duck Palestinians whenever they please. My heart breaks for her family, friends and colleagues. The killing by the IDF will not stop.

  4. May 12, 2022 at 17:17

    the center of global antisemitism? duh? Israel!

  5. Vera Gottlieb
    May 12, 2022 at 15:34

    How many more injustices…how much longer is the ‘civilized’ world going to look the other way, lacking the backbone to stand up to israel??? How much longer is israel going to get away with smearing all those who oppose israel’s apartheid??? How much longer before justice is finally served???

  6. Nathan Mulcahy
    May 12, 2022 at 15:34

    Just imagine a Ukrainian journalist killed in the same way. But then, we know who rules over us …..

  7. George Philby
    May 12, 2022 at 15:27

    Her voice was strong; it was constant and clear.
    To Palestine’s martyrs, Shireen’s name was dear.
    She fought Occupation: she fought apartheid.
    She fought with her truthful words – that’s why she died.

  8. Em
    May 12, 2022 at 13:47

    A sincere touch of blind faith Naivety!
    “ADC urged the Biden administration to conduct”… “a full, independent, and international investigation into the assassination of Shireen.”
    “Complete transparency and full accountability for this war crime against an American citizen is necessary,” the group added. “Additionally, as Americans we call on the U.S. government to stop all military aid to Israel, who uses our tax dollars to perpetrate these atrocities. Now is the time to put pressure on the Israeli government and stand up for Palestinian human rights.”
    An Aside, if it please the American courtiers:
    War itself is the crime of all the illegitimately’ legalized’ murders committed in the name of peace!
    Israel is the resultant aftermath.
    Yet already ‘Ukraine’ authorities are investigating individual Russian soldiers, for war crimes; in the midst of the raging battle; with the unstinting support offered by the Western (read American lead) propaganda machine for the crimes of yet another war it instigated. They themselves said they set a trap for Russia!
    This is Just us? The way we humanely lead by example.
    Think here of transparent journalism, freedom of the press, democracy… and most of all, in this context, of Julian Assange.
    Israel too, has learned all too well from its mentor, going back more than three-quarters of a century.
    With regard to shifting of the blame, Ukraine can be considered a neophyte blind man in the buff.

  9. Drew Hunkins
    May 12, 2022 at 12:52

    Israhell’s a lawless sadistic hegemonic paranoid artificial state. It’s diaspora functionaries in Washington (President Klain, Sullivan, Blinken, and Nudelman) are currently busying themselves putting the world on the brink of a shooting war between two nuclear armed superpowers.

    Meanwhile the supposed ostensible anti-war Party voted in 100% lockstep unanimity to hand the Ukie Russophobes $40 billion.
    Meanwhile millions of US citizens live in debt peonage in a nation that still does not have Medicare-for-All.

    I’ve run out of w0rds to describe how squalid and contemptible this all is.

    • John R
      May 12, 2022 at 17:47

      A m e n !

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