The prominent reporter was born in Jerusalem and was at the forefront of coverage of the apartheid state’s ongoing crimes against Palestinians.
As the world woke up to the heartbreaking news of Shireen Abu Akleh‘s ‘cold blood’ killing by Israeli occupation forces, news headlines started rolling in.
The 51-year old Al Jazeera journalist was shot in the head by Israeli snipers while wearing her protective press jacket. She was covering the Israeli raids of Jenin.
The news shook the world to its core, especially those who grew up watching her on their television screens over the years. She had been reporting for Al Jazeera since the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000.
She was one of the network’s most prominent faces, noted for her bravery in carrying out her journalistic role in dangerous of circumstances.
However, Abu Akleh, before she was an Al Jazeera journalist, was a Palestinian, born in Jerusalem. She was killed by the very forces she dedicated her life reporting on.
Since her death, news organisations from all parts of the world have been covering the incident. The headlines vary, but one thing was hard to ignore for many, which was the biased, inaccurate, and ambiguous headlines that have trending on social media.
Al Jazeera producer Lina Al Saafin called out the Associated Press (AP) for their headline in announcing Al Akleh’s murder.
It’s been almost a year since AP’s Gaza office was demolished by an Israeli airstrike, despite numerous pleas from the news organisation to the IDF to stop the attack. The Associated Press described the strike as “shocking and horrifying.”
Three powerful missiles slammed into the 12-story structure, causing it to collapse into a massive cloud of dust on May 16.
Despite the fact that no one was injured, the airstrike destroyed an office that served as a second home for AP journalists.
AP’s biased headline that absolved the Israeli military of any responsibility was just the tip of the ice berg. The New York Times is also facing scrutiny for calling the events that lead to her death ‘clashes’ instead of calling it what it is, a targeted killing by the Israeli forces using snipers.
Reuters also faced backlash for reporting on the claims of the Israeli forces and depicting them as factual.
The Guardian’s report portrayed Abu Akleh’s murder as accusations by Al Jazeera.
Similarly, CNN stated that “Al Jazeera has accused Israeli security forces of deliberately targeting and killing Abu Akleh and called on the international community to condemn and hold Israel accountable,” with a headline that fails to state who committed the killing.
There has been criticism that the reaction by international media’s is a reflection of how they deem Palestinian deaths as excusable ‘clashes’ between two sides with ambiguous blame.
Witnesses told Al Jazeera that the killing was premeditated, and that the bullet struck her below the ear, in a spot not covered by Abu Akleh’s helmet. According to Al Jazeera, it was “premeditated murder that violates international laws and norms.”
“We hold the Israeli authorities responsible for the safety of Al Jazeera producer Ali Al-Samoudi, who was targeted with colleague Shireen by shooting him in the back during his coverage and he is undergoing treatment,” added the Doha-based media network.