May 22, 2022

Journalists Condemn Murder

INDIAN journalists, over a hundred of them, from different parts of the country, have sent a letter to Naftali Bennett, prime minister of Israel through the Israeli embassy in Delhi on May 16, strongly condemning the 'murder' of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot in the face while she was reporting a raid by Israeli soldiers from Jenin. The letter said that the shocking assassination – described as such by Al Jazeera – again underlines the Israeli government's inability to accept independent journalism that speaks the truth. Akleh was known for her independent reporting. She was killed by an Israeli sniper, according to Al Jazeera, even though she was wearing a helmet and body armour marked "Press". Shireen Akleh was standing with other journalists when she was shot in the face. An Al Jazeera producer was shot in the back but survived.  

The letter noted that despite the worldwide condemnation, Israeli police were again directed to stop her funeral procession and resorted to violence when the Palestinians tried to move forward, with videos recording the brutal attack on the pallbearers that made them nearly drop the casket. The videos also record the police beating and kicking the mourners. The letter stated, “We understand that some kind of enquiry has been ordered, as well as an investigation as to whether the well known journalist was shot from an Israeli army jeep. This attack comes from a deliberately created environment of impunity, where the Palestinians are targetted by Israeli military at will, and the journalists pay the price for independent reportage.” The Indian journalists expect a strong condemnation from Israeli prime minister, as well as a transparent investigation by an independent authority to ensure that she gets justice in death, and that more such targeted attacks and killings are stopped.