Palestine Bids Farewell to Shireen Abu Akleh – Al-Jazeera Producer Details the Incident
By Hassan Shreim
Beirut – Fellow journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed on Wednesday by an “Israeli” bullet. The Al-Jazeera network’s producer Ali Al-Samoudi was wounded in the same incident. They were covering the "Israeli" storming of the Jenin refugee camp.
Abu Akleh, born in 1971, hails from the city of Bethlehem in the south of the occupied West Bank. She worked for Al-Jazeera for 25 years. She was considered one of the most prominent Palestinian media figures. She covered the “Israeli” incursions into all the West Bank governorates during the al-Aqsa Intifada, the besieging of martyred President Yasser Arafat, the al-Quds Intifada, and the events in al-Aqsa Mosque, and the al-Quds Sword battle. She also covered events outside Palestine for Al-Jazeera.
In an interview with al-Ahed News, our colleague Ali Al-Samoudi recounted Abu Akleh’s martyrdom.
“At six in the morning, the occupation forces stormed the Palestinian camp of Jenin, so I headed there to cover the Zionist attacks and the events taking place in the camp in light of the ‘Israeli’ threats," Al-Samoudi said.
"I contacted my colleague Shireen to go together at the camp. When she arrived, I had already conducted a quick survey of the place to find out where the army factions are positioned and where we could be safely located. I discovered an alley on the outskirts of the camp. It was a long and open street where we could move easily and safely because nothing was happening there, and there were no resistance fighters, or armed men.”
"When my fellow journalists and I advanced, we approached the soldiers to cover the events from a distance, approximately 200 meters. We had all our press gear, and we began covering the events. When we started broadcasting, we advanced about 20 meters, and they fired the first shot at us and it was very loud. I called out to my colleague Shireen and told her the occupation forces were firing at us. Let us retreat. As I uttered those words, they fired a shot at me while I was retreating and hit my back. I think he was aiming at my chest but missed because I had turned around. Shireen started screaming, ‘Ali got shot, Ali got shot.’ That was the last thing Shireen said. As I was about to get out of the alley, I heard a third shot. It hit Shireen in the head and turned her into a martyr.”
Al-Samoudi confirmed to Al-Ahed that the “Israelis” wanted to premeditatedly kill Shireen, noting that “there were no clashes in the area where we were. Rather, it was under the full control of the occupation, and they could see us very clearly. There was no civilian presence. They deliberately silenced her voice to prevent her from conveying the reality of what is happening in the Jenin camp and showing the horror of the aggression practiced by the occupation against defenseless Palestinians. The enemy also aimed to terrorize journalists so they refrain from performing their media role in conveying the facts and the brutality of the occupation army.”
He pointed out that "Shireen remained lying on the ground amid heavy gunfire until one of the young men risked his life to drag her out, trying to save her life. After a number of civilians gathered, Shireen was taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was too late and she was gone. The bullet was fatal – it penetrated the helmet, hitting her in the head and killing her instantly.”
Shireen’s departure immortalizes a journalist’s story who carried Palestine's concerns and its cause. She drenched the soil of her homeland with her blood. She was martyred by those whose brutality he exposed with her media coverage.