[News] Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh assassinated by Israeli occupation forces in Jenin

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 11 11:22:49 EDT 2022

  Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh assassinated by Israeli
  occupation forces in Jenin



May 10

Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, a prominent reporter for Al 
Jazeera who has been one of the most well-known faces conveying the 
current situation in Palestine in Arabic-language media for over 20 
years, was shot dead in the early morning hours of Wednesday, 11 May by 
Israeli occupation forces invading Jenin. She was shot in the head as 
she wore her "Press" vest, sparking outrage at her murder and at the 
systematic attacks directed against Palestinian journalists.

The assassination of Abu Aqleh drew comparisons to the killing of 
Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja 
and Ahmed Abu Hussein 
in Gaza during the Great March of Return in 2018, as well as the 50 
Palestinian journalists killed since 2000 by the Israeli occupation. 
There are also dozens of Palestinian journalists held behind occupation 
bars, including Bushra al-Tawil, jailed without charge or trial under 
administrative detention. Abu Aqleh was a fixture on Al Jazeera, famed 
throughout the Arab region for her reporting of four wars on Gaza, the 
Israeli war on Lebanon, and the ongoing Palestinian liberation struggle. 
On many occasions, she covered the stories of the thousands of 
Palestinian prisoners, their families, their lives and their resistance. 
Indeed, her final tweet reported on the death of the mother of one of 
the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners, Karim Younes, only eight 
months before his scheduled release:

    Salutes to Shireen Abu Aqla, martyred as she continued to report on
    the ongoing colonial assault on the Palestinian people. Her final
    tweet, like much of her work, told the stories of Palestinian
    prisoners of freedom, continuing to resist behind bars for a
    liberated Palestine https://t.co/XvEnwvx7rq

    — Samidoun Network (@SamidounPP) May 11, 2022

She joins a long line of Palestinian martyrs whose lives have been taken 
by a colonial force attempting its futile effort to defeat the 
Palestinian people. Her legacy, like that of all of the martyrs of 
Palestine, must inspire all to organize, struggle and resist for the 
liberation of Palestine, its prisoners and its people, and to turn our 
eyes to Jenin, a daily site of assassinations, extrajudicial killings, 
armed raids, home demolitions and relentless occupation assaults -- and 
a daily site of an undaunted and undefeated resistance that continues to 
struggle for justice and freedom, to defend the land and people from 
colonial aggression.

*We urge all to salute the martyrs of Palestine and their aspirations by 
joining the marches and rallies for Palestine around the world marking 
the 74th commemoration of the Nakba, the Day of Palestinian Struggle, 
and the ongoing movement for liberation and return. See the list of 
actions here. <https://samidoun.net/events> *

The below article by Shireen Abu Aqleh was published in "This Week in 
Palestine" (in English) in September 2021 
<https://thisweekinpalestine.com/shireen-abu-aqleh/>. She writes of her 
return to Jenin after her previous coverage there, specifically because 
of the heroes of the "Freedom Tunnel," who liberated themselves from 
Gilboa prison, and weaves the story of imprisonment in Jenin with that 
of life and resistance:

*"Reporting in a Time of Legends" *

*by Shireen Abu Aqleh*

It was probably a coincidence that brought me back twenty years. When I 
arrived in Jenin in September, I did not expect to relive this 
overwhelming feeling. Jenin is still the same inextinguishable flame 
that is home to fearless young men who are not intimidated by any 
potential Israeli invasion.

The success of the escape from Jalbou’ Prison was the reason I spent a 
number of days and nights in the city. It was like going back to 2002 
when Jenin lived something unique, unlike any other city in the West 
Bank. Towards the end of Al-Aqsa Intifada, armed citizens spread out all 
over the city and publicly dared the occupation forces to raid the camp.

In 2002, Jenin became a legend in the minds of many. The battle in the 
camp against the occupation forces that April is still powerfully 
present in the minds of its inhabitants, even those who were not yet 
born when it happened.

Returning to Jenin now, 20 years later, I encountered many familiar 
faces. In a restaurant, I met Mahmoud who greeted me with the question, 
“Do you remember me?” “Yes,” I replied, “I remember you.” It is 
difficult to forget that face and those eyes. He continued, “I was 
released from jail a few months ago.” Mahmoud was wanted by the Israelis 
when I met him during the years of the Intifada.

I relived those feelings of anxiety and horror that we experienced every 
time we met an armed person in the camp. Mahmoud is one of the lucky 
ones; he was imprisoned and released, but the faces of many others have 
been turned into symbols or mere memories for the inhabitants of Jenin 
and for Palestinians in general.

During this visit, we did not face any difficulties in finding a place 
to stay, unlike ten years ago when we had to stay in the homes of people 
we did not know. At that time, people opened their homes to us since 
there were no hotels.

At first sight, life in Jenin may appear normal, with restaurants, 
hotels, and shops that open their doors every morning. But in Jenin we 
have the feeling that we are in a small village that monitors every 
stranger that comes in. On every street, people ask the crew, “Are you 
from the Israeli press?” “No, we are from Al-Jazeera.” The yellow 
Israeli vehicle plates raise suspicion and fear. The car was 
photographed and the photograph was circulated several times before our 
movement in the city became familiar to inhabitants.

In Jenin, we met people who have never given up hope; they have not 
allowed fear to infiltrate their hearts and have not been broken by the 
Israeli occupation forces. It is probably not a coincidence that the six 
prisoners who managed to escape are all from the vicinity of Jenin and 
the camp.

To me, Jenin is not a one ephemeral story in my career or even in my 
personal life. It is the city that can raise my morale and help me fly. 
It embodies the Palestinian spirit that sometimes trembles and falls 
but, beyond all expectations, rises to pursue its flights and dreams.

And this has been my experience as a journalist; the moment I’m 
physically exhausted and mentally drained, I’m faced with a new, 
surprising legend. It might emerge from a small opening, or from a 
tunnel dug underground.

/About Shireen Abu Aqleh/

/For 24 years I have been covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for 
/Al Jazeera/. In addition to the political issue, my concern has been 
and will always be the human story and the daily suffering of my people 
under occupation. Before joining my current channel, I was a co-founder 
of Sawt Falasteen Radio. Throughout my career, I have covered four wars 
against the Gaza Strip and the Israeli war on Lebanon, in addition to 
the incursions into the West Bank. Furthermore, I have covered events in 
the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Egypt./


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