On Wednesday, May 12, Israeli forces conducted a Raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. In this raid, they killed the Palestinian Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh even though she was wearing a helmet and had clearly been labeled as “press” due to her vest. The killing comes following increasing Israeli escalation against Palestinians following tensions due to violations against the al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan.
The larger context is the occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967 which includes East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to Al Jazeera, “Israel now appears to be walking back some of its initial claims after government officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, claimed a video appearing to show Palestinian fighters firing in a Jenin alleyway was evidence that Palestinians had killed Abu Akleh.
Verification efforts have shown that the alleyway was not in the area where Abu Akleh was shot. Israel’s military chief, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, has now said that it is unclear who shot Abu Akleh.” The killing has attracted negative reactions both in Palestine and abroad.
Palestinians have mourned the death of Abu Akleh as injustice and the loss of a reporter who has had a long legacy of covering Israeli violence against Palestinians. Abu Akleh was given a state service at the Palestinian Authority compound. Additionally, the Palestinian Authority said it would not accept any Israeli investigation of the killing but would refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. In addition to Palestinians, the killing attracted international condemnation too.
Even the long-standing Israeli allies of the United States condemned the killing despite usually giving the country unqualified support. According to The Hill, “White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre echoed Price’s comments, telling reporters aboard Air Force One that the administration “strongly” condemns the killing of the journalist. Jean-Pierre did not say whether President Biden planned to call Abu Akleh’s family.” The White house further described the killing as a threat to freedom everywhere. Additionally, there was another Palestinian journalist who was wounded in the raid that killed Abu Akleh.