Shireen Abu Akleh: Outrage Surrounding the Death of a Journalist 


The Facts

On Friday May 13, 2022, mourners at the funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh were attacked by Israeli police.
Abu Akleh was allegedly killed by Israeli police in the Palestinian controlled West Bank. Her death, however, is still under investigation. Her funeral was interrupted as pallbearers were brutally assaulted by Israeli police. The coffin was nearly dropped in the midst of the attack.
This is not the first time something like this has happened, and unfortunately will likely not be the last. Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque have been attacked during Ramadan the past two years. These events demonstrate that this is no longer a fight just for land, but an attack on the Islamic faith and on Palestinian civilians.
Abu Akleh was a renowned journalist for Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera. Her death has caused a massive outrage among Palestine supporters and human rights advocates alike.
“Journalists should be protected as citizens” said France based news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) in regards to a statement by the Chinese government on similar events.
“Israel’s forces violently attacked Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral procession,” tweeted BBC correspondent Bahman Kalbasi “Ripping away the Palestinian flag and beating people as they try to hold the casket.”
Attached to the tweet was a video of the violence. This video contains content which may be sensitive to some viewers.

Enough is Enough

The continued attacks on Palestinians and their supporters must be stopped. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there have been over 3,400 Palestinian civilian casualties as a result of conflict just since 2008. The official conflict has been happening since 1948. When will the violence stop? The Zionists do not discriminate in who they kill. Twenty-nine percent of Palestinian civilian deaths are children. Of the 6,030 Palestinian fatalities, only 998 belong to armed groups (the remaining 1,566 deaths are of disputed groups). On the other hand, Israelis have suffered but 268 official fatalities since 2008, and just under fifty percent were armed forces.
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) claims that Abu Akleh’s death came as a result of Palestinian gunfire. However, her colleagues who were on the scene claim that there were no Palestinian armed groups on the scene when they were fired upon from the direction of an IDF unit. All journalists were wearing clearly marked armor with the word “press” plastered across the chest.
Furthermore, according to the Associated Press, multiple independent investigation groups have found the IDF guilty. This was simply a probe, and the bullet has yet to be given up by Palestinians. However, when the bullet is recovered, it can be matched to a gun barrel, which can trace back to the true killer.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres was quoted as saying he was “deeply disturbed” by the behavior of certain Israeli police.

The People’s Response

May 15 marks a painful day for many Palestinians. On May 15, 1948, the Palestinians suffered what is known as the Nakba (Arabic for “The Catastrophe”) when Israel was declared a state, the UK withdrew from the state, and Zionists began mass evictions of native Palestinians. This year, Abu Akleh was the face of protests on the seventy-fourth anniversary of the Nakba. As Palestinians marched the streets with keys to the homes they were evicted from, some chose to carry protest signs (not only protesting occupation, but also protesting the journalist’s death). One sign when translated reads “seventy-four years since the Nakba, the pain has 

not died. Goodbye Shireen.”

Shireen Abu Akleh will not be forgotten. She is more than another dead person. Israel has shown once again that it will kill anyone and everyone that gets in their way. Men, women, children, and journalists just doing their job are but obstacles to the nationalists, and the police and soldiers but pawns in the hands of the Zionists. Without the help of the masses turning against Israeli forces, the fatalities will not stop. This is not to say that all Israelis or all Jews are bad, but that those who support the continued murder and eviction of innocent civilians must be stopped. Our democracy cannot survive so long as we allow apartheid despots to rule anywhere, because if we are not willing to fight for democracy for the most oppressed, then how can we fight for anyone?


Axios. “Palestinians Mark Nakba Day amid Outrage over Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.” Axios, May 15, 2022.

“Data on Casualties.” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – occupied Palestinian territory. Accessed May 18, 2022.

Press, The Associated. “An Independent Probe Points to Israeli Gunfire in the Death of a Journalist.” NPR. NPR, May 16, 2022.

“Shireen Abu Aqla: Un Condemns Killing of Al Jazeera Reporter.” BBC News. BBC, May 14, 2022.

Tahhan, Zena Al. “Shireen Abu Akleh: Al Jazeera Reporter Killed by Israeli Forces.” Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, May 12, 2022.