BEIRUT — The Alternative Press Syndicate in Lebanon called on their colleagues to protest journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s “cold-blooded assasination” by gathering at the UN ESCWA headquarters in Downtown Beirut on Wednesday evening and “delivering a message to the United Nations demanding an investigation and international condemnation.”
Here’s what we know:
• Al Jazeera reported that Abu Akleh, 51, a Palestinian journalist and a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was shot in the head on Wednesday morning by Israeli forces while covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank. According to Al Jazeera, Abu Akleh was rushed to hospital in critical condition, where she was pronounced dead.
• A household name across the Arab world for her “bold” coverage and understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abu Akleh’s death stirred outrage and grief across social media platforms. Many Lebanese journalists, including Lina Mounzer, Dalal Mawad and Kareem Chehayeb, shared the news of Abu Akleh’s death, dencouncing her murder, as a Palestinian under the Israeli occupation and as a journalist who was on duty.
• Daoud Ibrahim, a former freelance media trainer for Deutsche Welle, who was sacked following a two-month investigation accusing him and four other colleagues of posting “antisemitic” content on their private social media accounts, accusing the Israeli occupation of attempting to “assasinate the truth in Palestinian” by “assasinating” Abu Akleh.
• Speaking about violence against media workers, Jad Shahrour, the communications officer at the Samir Kassir Foundation, a Lebanon-based nonprofit civic organization, told L’Orient Today that “the assassination of our colleague [Shireen] by the occupation army, in Palestine reminds us of the international community’s silence towards the assassination of more than 1,200 journalists worldwide from 2006 until today, without any strict accountability and an actual investigation that reveals the identity of the perpetrators.”
• After the killing, the Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, circulated a video of a masked Palestinian gunman firing a few rounds down an unidentified alley in Jenin, with no other information, as possible “evidence” that Abu Akleh was shot by Palestinians and not the Israeli army. Other journalists who were present on the scene with Abu Akleh before and during the shooting disputed the claim, saying that “there was no Palestinian military resistance at all at the scene.”