11 May 2022—The Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO) condemns the assassination of the prominent Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqlah, 51-years-old from Jerusalem by the Israeli occupation while she was covering the aggression in Jenin Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank, despite her wearing the press uniform. While the world recently celebrated the World Press Freedom Day—a day to honor the courage and hard work of journalists worldwide, Palestine mourns the loss of the veteran journalist Abu Aqlah who was fully dedicated to exposing the reality of the Israeli colonization.
Abu Aqlah, Al-Jazeera’s veteran journalist, was doing her professional journalistic work when she was targeted by Israeli occupation forces with a direct bullet in the head, while covering an Israeli army raid on Jenin Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank this morning. While reporting the same event, her colleague Ali al-Samoudi was also shot in the back, and he is currently in a critical health condition.
PNGO stresses the need for intensified and concerted efforts to prosecute the occupying power and hold it accountable for its crimes against Palestinian journalists. This heinous crime is in violation of the principles of international law and the provisions of the United Nations Charter. It is a grave breach of international humanitarian law and international human rights law (war crimes and crimes against humanity) as well as all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. This is a daily crime committed by the occupying power with the objective of concealing the narrative and preventing the truth from being communicated to the rest of the world.
In light of the international community’s silence towards our people and their rights, PNGO views the assassination of Palestinian journalist Abu Aqlah as an expression of the occupation’s continued crimes against Palestinian civilians. PNGO calls on the international community to hold the Israeli government and its occupying armed forces accountable for this horrific crime. We demand the international community to amplify its voice and fulfill its duty toward the crimes being committed by the occupying power, including the continued detention of 15 journalists in Israeli prisons, infringing all international laws and the most basic human rights standards.
Palestinian journalists, media professionals, and related staff have the right to exercise all of the rights guaranteed by international human rights and humanitarian law when seeking, receiving, and transmitting information and ideas, and shall not be expected to serve the Israeli strategy of silencing the Palestinians and withholding them from showing the world the aggression of the occupation. Inaction is a betrayal of International human rights values and principles; reluctance to seriously confront Israel’s violation would create repercussions as within the international system to maintain the status quo.