The Sri Lanka Committee for Solidarity with Palestine called for an immediate international inquiry into the apparent assassination, by Israeli troops, of world famous Palestinian- American woman journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on 11 May. The Solidarity Committee also vehemently condemned the uncivilised, dastardly assaults by Israeli soldiers on pall bearers and mourners at the slain journalist’s funeral.
“All reports indicate that this world-famous journalist was the victim of deliberate sniper targeting which is typical of the war crimes perpetrated against Palestinians by the occupying Israeli Defense Forces. Abu Akleh was killed when she and other journalists were reporting on Israeli occupying forces raiding the Jenin Refugee Camp,”.
The likelihood of the assassination being by sniper fire has been acknowledged by most international monitors including international journalists and media rights organisations, Israel’s own human rights groups, Israeli news media and prominent Western news media.
She died from a single shot in the head in the narrow area exposed between her helmet and her bullet resistant jacket, a targeting only feasible by sniper scope. Witnesses say that the journalist and associates were at a distance from raiding Israeli troops and that the fatal gunshot would have been fired at long range by a sniper.
The Solidarity Committee said they join Palestinian and world bodies in calling for an immediate independent inquiry into this assassination of a journalist.
It is believed that Abu Akleh was killed because of her highly effective journalistic coverage of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. “Given the Israeli government’s persistent record of failed domestic prosecutions in hundreds, if not thousands, of instances of human rights violations, no domestic inquiry is acceptable.”
In the more than seven decades of illegal Israeli military occupation of Palestine, hundreds of Palestinian media workers have died while on duty.