What is required is not an international commission of inquiry, but international sanctions against the occupation

Ramallah /PNN/

May, 16th, 2022 – The assassination of journalist Shereen Abu Aqleh, Al-Jazeera correspondent for 25 years, is not a transgressive crime by the Israeli occupation forces. Rather, it comes within the framework of a systematic policy of targeting journalists in Palestine for decades to intimidate them and block the truth.

“ MADA” Center report entitled “The crimes of the Israeli occupation are transient incidents or permanent policy showed that the Israeli occupation was committed during the five and a half years covered by this report (from the beginning of 2016-mid 2021) a total of 1,845 violations, the number of direct physical attacks (resulting from the use of weapons and ammunition of all kinds or due to beating) reached 786, which constituted 43% of the total Israeli attacks against journalists fall under this type of attacks, while the distribution of The rest is about 20 other types of Israeli violations.

The report indicates that the number of Palestinian physical attacks amounted to 81 violations, which constitutes only 9% of the total physical attacks recorded during the period covered by the report, and that 91% were committed by the occupation, which shows a clear Israeli tendency towards inflicting the most severe harm on journalists to keep them away from the field and work. a translation of a policy that aims by various means to obscure the crimes, practices, policies, and attacks carried out by the occupation in Palestine.

The report shows that, since the beginning of the year 2000, Israeli physical attacks have killed 46 journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 6 of whom were killed during the last five and a half years covered by this report, while dozens of others have suffered and are still suffering from temporary and permanent disabilities that will accompany them throughout the rest of their lives, as a result of serious injuries inflicted by the occupation on them, such as journalists: Attia Muhammad Darwish, Moaz Ibrahim Amarneh, and Sami Jamal Masran, who each lost one of their eyes as a result of direct injuries that targeted them while they were working in the field by the occupation soldiers during the years 2018 and 2019.

Another report by MADA Center showed the occupation’s attacks on journalists while covering the peaceful return marches in the Gaza Strip: https://www.madacenter.org/en/article/1159/

The killing of journalists, Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, are not the only crimes committed by the Israeli occupation army as part of its efforts to exclude journalists and the media and prevent them from covering the events of the peaceful return marches.

In addition to these two crimes, MADA Center monitored, from the start of the return marches on March, 30th,2018 – Sep,30th,2018 within six months, at least 46 injuries with live and explosive bullets, in the Gaza Strip, most of which are serious injuries, that caused these journalists severe injuries that kept them away from the field of work for varying periods of time, as well as the legitimate fears and anxiety it caused among journalists about the deliberate targeting of them.

The types of these injuries, in which the occupation army used live ammunition and even explosives, which are prohibited even in wars against journalists, show a part of what is happening on the ground on this level.

It should be noted that the occupation forces killed 17 journalists and media workers during their aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2014, the bloodiest year in the history of the Palestinian press.

In order to justify this policy, officials in the occupying state used to incite against Palestinian and Arab journalists and media, including Al-Jazeera, whose offices and correspondents in Palestine were subjected to many attacks, by claiming that they were instigators and not journalists, Israel also used to disavow by various forms of murders of journalists in Palestine, including international journalists such as Raphael Cheriello and David Miller, and in other cases the claim that they work with( media outlets belong to Hamas) “terrorist organizations such as Hamas” as if any journalist’s work with certain media outlets gives Israel the right to kill him.

The murder of Abu Aqleh has turned into a global public opinion issue, as many parties demand the formation of an international investigation committee into her murder, which raises questions about her ability to achieve justice.

On the one hand, it is expected that Israel will refuse to cooperate with it, and allow it’s members to enter the occupied land, consequently, this will lead to its inability to carry out its mission, on the other hand, it will push the US administration towards forming a joint Palestinian-Israeli investigation committee, while the Palestinian Authority refuses Israel’s participation in any investigation committee. Therefore, it will base matters on forming of an Israeli investigation committee that will conclude that the killer is unknown, or she was killed by mistake at best. No one has ever been held accountable for the killing of 46 journalists since the year 2000.

The killer is known, and there is no need to waste time in order to reach the conclusion that everyone knows.

Therefore, the best way is for the Palestinian Authority to expedite its investigation into the circumstances of the crime, as it has the testimonies of witnesses, the bullet projectile, and the forensic report, in addition to the investigations of Al Jazeera TV and B’Tselem, and handing them over to the International Criminal Court, and demand it to speed up taking legal measures to achieve justice, especially since this crime provoked wide international reactions at various levels, and has become an issue of global public opinion, which will enhance the incentive for the court to start legal procedures, its quick move in the matter of Ukraine will put it in an embarrassing position if it is not moving in the case of Abu Aqleh, and at the same time, a case against the occupying country could be filed by the family of the deceased in the American courts because she holds American citizenship.

It is also important to turn to Western countries in general and to the Media Freedom Coalition in particular, which is an alliance of 52 countries led by Britain and Canada, to impose sanctions on the occupation based on the charter it approved to protect journalists and the freedom of media, as the occupying state continues to enjoy impunity as a result of double standards, is what encouraged it to continue its attacks on journalists and the killing of 47 of them since the year 2000.

Finally, the aggression of the occupation forces against the participants of the funeral of Abu Aqleh shows once again the true face of the occupying power.

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