Calls mount for probe into killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh


Calls are mounting for an independent investigation into the killing of veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Abu Akleh was shot dead on Wednesday while covering an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Another Al Jazeera journalist, producer Ali al-Samud, was wounded.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation director-general Zane Dangor has condemned the killing Abu Akleh by the Israeli Defence Force.

 “The targeting of journalists in the occupied territories, and in conflict zones like Ukraine and Afghanistan, appears to be part of a pattern of silencing the free press, and is an outright contravention of international law. In a situation of occupation, protest action is one of the few ways in which Palestinians can make their voices heard.”

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Dangor said international human rights law obligates the occupying power to allow for the freedom of expression and protests.

“In other conflict zones, civilians and other non-combatants must be protected in keeping with the Principle of Distinction and other protective measures of the Geneva Conventions.”

“The ability of journalists to cover events as they take place is essential, and efforts to intimidate and assassinate members of the media cannot be allowed to continue with impunity, Dangor said.”

Local political parties also weighed in on the killing of Abu Akleh.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said the continued occupation of Palestine by Israel has led to unspeakable tortures and war crimes.

“This is yet another killing which seeks to suppress objective coverage of the crimes of Israel against the Palestinian people. Imperialist media entities which seek to distort the deliberate murder of Shereen, suggest that she died amid a conflict between Palestinian freedom fighters and Israeli occupying forces.”

“The truth is that she was shot by a sniper, a clear indication that this was an assassination,” The EFF said.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Press Association (FPA) has joined calls by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din in demanding, “urgent international intervention to get to the truth on the killing of Abu Akleh.

“We call for the establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate this case in depth.

Yesh Din commented that the Israeli defense establishment “has proven in several cases that it is unable to investigate such incidents on its own.”

“There were seven journalists who witnessed the incident and who dismissed IDF claims that there were gunmen in the area during the incident. There were no resistance fighters,” one said. “We were alone in the area,” Yesh Din said.

The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists has also joined the rest of the world in condemning the killing of Abu Akleh.

In a Press release, the Palestine Ambassador to Zimbabwe Tamer Almassri condemned “these heinous crimes against journalists”, saying it was a “systematic Israeli attempt to silence the voice of truth and cover up the crimes of its occupation against our people in order to isolate our Palestinian people from the rest of the world.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh shot dead by Israeli forces

Source: citizen