THE sniper attack by the Israeli army in which Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered when she received a bullet that struck her in the head has once again highlighted the brutal tactics that are being persistently used by the occupation forces.

A prominent journalist, Shireen, who started her career in 1997 and spent all her life highlighting the atrocities of Israel, was very intimately connected to the people of Palestine, who poured in large numbers at her funeral to show their love for her.

To make a bad situation worse, during her funeral in the occupied East Jerusalem, mourners and even pallbearers were repeatedly attacked by Israeli forces. Palestinian flags were snatched and thrown away despite the fact that area has been declared by the United Nations as occupied land. Even the casket carrying Shireen was attacked, and the procession had a very difficult time reaching the cemetery and her final resting place beside her parents.

Along with the population of Palestine, Israel has had brazenly attacked journalists as well to intimidate the community into not reporting the facts. That Shireen was a Christian and a national of the United States and yet she had to face such utter brutality is a proof that Israel is in no mood to put up with any resistance from any quarter. Only last year, the world witnessed with horror the Israeli missile attacks on the offices of Associated Press (AP) and Al Jazeera in Gaza. The murder of Shireen was an extension of the same strategy. The strategy is so obvious that a sketch showing Shireen, the journalist, as the Statue of Liberty, as seen above, was carried widely by Arab media outlets and made its way to various social media platforms. The point is that the Israeli fascist strategy and the American nexus is no more a secret.

The unity shown by the people of Palestine in condemning the killing, and in the attendance of Muslims, Christians and even Jews during Shireen’s funeral once again underlined the fact that the Palestinians are united against the Israeli occupation irrespective of religion or any other consideration. Even in her funeral, Shireen was able to show to the world the real Palestine and the real spirit of the Palestinian resistance.

The international community, especially the United States and the European Union, needs to come out of its deep slumber and indifference regarding the Israeli atrocities, condemn it for its brutal approach and put pressure on the occupiers to end the oppression and injustice in the occupied land. The lukewarm ‘protest’ coming from Western powerhouses is only exposing their own two-faced approach to human rights.

Asim Daud
Abbottabad

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2022

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